Earlier this month, Governor Tate Reeves (R) proclaimed January 22-28, 2023 as "School Choice Week" in the state of Mississippi, joining other governors, mayors, and county leaders nationwide. On Wednesday, roughly 800 Mississippi students, parents, teachers, and legislators will meet for a celebration at the state capitol.
Grant Callen of Empower Mississippi says after the event, students will have a chance to meet with state legislators.
"We've organized tours for every student to go into the capitol to get a tour … with their school and meet their lawmakers," he tells AFN. "It'll be a great time for lawmakers to meet students and understand what's important to them."
National School Choice Week aims to inform, inspire, and empower parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, including traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and home schooling.
Callen says a silver lining to the pandemic was that it helped many parents realize they do have options. In Mississippi, there are a variety of school choice options available for many of the 730,000 children living there, and the state is seeing a reinvention of the one-room school house.
"A sector that I'm pretty excited about is microschooling. A microschool is just a small private school that has between 25 students and maybe 100 students," Callen explains. "What we're finding is a lot of parents are starting these and working with other families and starting them together, and we're seeing them pop up all over Mississippi."
According to National School Choice Week, 26,000 events throughout the country are planned for this week.