Monday, September 13, 2021

How Rural Colorado Parents Created A ‘No Politics’ Public School In Just One Year

Merit Academy of Woodland Park, Colorado, opened on Aug. 23 in a buoyant ceremony featuring American flags and a teenage rider riding a dun horse while waving the school flag.

The new public school went from idea to reality in just one year, opening K-8 with plans to grow into high school.

We Love Our Town and Want to Make It Better Another obstacle Merit's board and families also hope will come around is the local school board, which denied their application for opening as a charter school.

Because as a child she attended private school due to Saint Louis public schools' chronic poor performance, she sees school choice as completely compatible with her many years working in traditional public schools as a counselor and school board member.

Computer-heavy learning made school a struggle for Mary Sekowski's eighth-grade son, Nolan, even before lockdowns: "You get a group of middle school boys together and they're supposed to be on their Chromebooks watching YouTube videos on the solar system, they're going to goof off," she said.

Despite years of a thriving charter school market in Colorado, increased Democrat control has cut charter approvals to a trickle, Miller said, not necessarily because Democrats are always against charter schools - President Obama is a famous supporter - but because Democrats reflexively consider school districts political allies and districts don't always align with parents.

School districts can move less muscle and money up to Democrat politicians if fewer families provide their children because they don't like the schools. 

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