Rockford parents discuss alternative school choices

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- This week is National School Choice Week, which is a time for parents to learn about options they have for their kids' education.

They say times have changed, and so has the way our students get educated.

Theresa Kegley attended a public meeting in which the main discussion was the many different options that parents have to educate their children such as charter schools, private schools and homeschooling, to name a few.

"It's just finding out different avenues and ways we can do that. The awareness of how many resources and outlets that Rockford does provide and our state with the charter schools too, that was a big eye-opener," said Kegley.

State Representative Joe Sosnowski held the forum in celebration of National School Choice Week, hoping to spread knowledge of the idea that students don't always have to go the traditional route.

"It's important for families to look at their student. Where are they best going to be educated, where are they going to thrive, where are they going to do the best? And let those families have those opportunities," said Sosnowski.

The discussion wasn't about which choice is better but it was more about educating parents about the choices they have for their child's education.

"For so long people thought they had no choice. You had to go to the district school or you had to go homeschool. Or you had to come up for the tuition for a private school or Christian school," said Don Gillingham, Executive Director of Rockford Lutheran School.

Alternative choices have become quite popular among education. The millennial generation has increased enrollment in online schools and charter schools have taken Illinois by storm.

"Now we've got people talking about what's the best way to educate my individual child," added Gillingham.

As for Kegley, she says she learned a lot at the meeting but she plans on keeping her kids where they're at.

"This really helped me to see a little more in-depth the educational aspect going into their upper grades," added Kegley.

For more information on School Choice Week check out the related link.