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What is school choice and what are my options in Florida?

Florida has six options for K-12 learning, allowing families to choose the option that best fits their needs.

TAMPA, Fla. — A lot of families move to certain neighborhoods, hoping to live in a great school district. 

Some families choose to move closer to schools that have a STEAM-focused education, maybe a really robust arts program or a legendary athletics department.

Whatever your desire is for your students, in Florida and many states across the country, you've got the option of school choice.

What exactly does that mean? School choice is the process of allowing every family K-12 to choose an education that best fits the needs of their families. This could mean choosing a traditional public school, a magnet school, a private school or even online learning.

In Florida, there are six options: public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies and home school.

"There is no such thing as one size fits all education. Some might want to fit more into STEM, some want arts, we even have athletic academies in Florida, whatever the type of education you want to choose, you have the option to," explained Phillip Suderman, the policy director for Americans for Prosperity Florida. 

The non-partisan organization is advocating for the importance of school choice, especially in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education has been tough for students over the past two years, filled with constant change, worries about safety and uncertainty about the staffing of classrooms.

Suderman says allowing families to make the decision about what kind of education they want for their families creates more equitable access, tailored to the needs of every student.

You can learn more about school choice options and how to find schools in Florida here.

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