Students deserve school choice

Originally published in The Register-Guard – January 17, 2020

When it comes to learning, we cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. Everybody learns differently. While many students can thrive in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting, some cannot.  

Many students have unique needs and challenges and need an environment that works best for their learning. By forcing all students into a one-size-fits-all schooling system, you lose many students who cannot thrive in that environment.   

We must give families and students a voice in their education, whether it’s in traditional brick-and-mortar, online, private or specialized charter schools. Protecting school choice is the key.  

I’ve seen this firsthand as a teacher and a parent of a student enrolled at Oregon Virtual Academy. My child was struggling in the traditional setting. He’s on an IEP for dyslexia and teachers struggled to assist him. When I enrolled him into online learning at ORVA, he took off like a rocket. 

For us, school choice was vital. Had it not been for ORVA, he wouldn’t be on a path to graduate. Because we were able to enroll him in a school that better met his learning style, he’s successful and will graduate with a standard diploma. All students deserve their best learning environment. All students deserve school choice. 

Heather Colbert

To learn more about Oregon Virtual Academy, visit

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