‘I’m just a dad looking to do the best for his son’ – school “voucher” parent Mike Enters, podcastED

Folks who think the school choice movement is about tearing down or privatizing public schools should set aside a few minutes to listen to Mike Enters.

Enters, 52, is the father of 13-year-old Jack Enters, a sixth grader at tiny Lake Monroe Christian School in Sanford, Fla. Jack had severe health problems in his earliest years and has struggled a bit to fit in socially. Enters thought it best to place him in a small school with few distractions, lots of one-on-one attention and strong relationships between parents and staff. He has been financially able to do that thanks to a tax-credit scholarship.

“If it wasn’t for the scholarship program, I would have had to kind of send him out like a sheep into the wolves, you know, and see what would happen,” Enters told redefinED.

Dad is happy with how things turned out. Jack and his teachers continue to work on his social skills. Meanwhile, he’s academically solid across the board and light years ahead in subjects like geography and astronomy. The school has “been perfect for him,” Enters said. “It’s been tailor made and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Enters, a former missionary, said he doesn’t have anything against public schools. In fact, his father was a public school teacher and principal for 39 years. But “I’ve got one crack, you know, at doing well with Jack,” he said, “and I didn’t want to take a chance to see if that would work, whether he would be accepted in a public school or not.”

“I’m just a dad looking to do the best for his son,” he continued. “I see where public schools have their place, definitely. It’s just that the description I gave before for the way Jack is, the way he’s wired, he would be one of those kids left behind, that are kind of shunted to the side at best. At worst, he’d be teased, he’d be, you know, just his spirit broken. I couldn’t picture myself putting him through that.”

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4 Responses to ‘I’m just a dad looking to do the best for his son’ – school “voucher” parent Mike Enters, podcastED

  1. Tonya Blanton April 13, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I to receive a scholarship for my girls, and they are growing and learning at alarming rates. The school they attend is a christian based school and I am delighted that they are learning the Bible(in English and Latin) where I had to read the Bible on my own. Public schools change constantly a few examples of these changes are prayers in school then the seperation of church and state, then the all important standardized testing which are causing schools to become desperate for funding. The small private school are not distracted by public funding, scores, or teacher shortages. They simply teach the students! I am a recent graduate of a small community college with an A.A. degree in Education and I see the definite advantages of these smaller schools. I believe parents have every right to decide where thier children go to school, just like parents that buy a house decide which public school destrict they want thier children to attend.

    • Ron Matus April 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi Ms. Blanton, thank you so much for taking the time to write a response to Mr. Enters’ podcast interview. I’m glad to hear your girls are doing well in their schools. I’m also glad you’re willing to speak up about school choice and parental choice.

  2. dianne nigro February 11, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    HI MY NAME IS DIANNE I HAVE A DAUGHTER WHO IS IN 9TH GRADE SHE WAS IN PUBLC SCHOOLS AND HAS BEEN GETTING BULLIED AND HARRASSED BECAUSE SHE IS OVER WEIGHT AND TALL FOR HER AGE SHE HAS PCOD SHE IS VERY VERY SMART SHE STARTED SCHOOL ON LINE TO GET OUT OF THE PUBLIC HARRASSMENT AND BULLYING, MY HEART ACHES FOR HER SHE IS SUCH A SWEET GIRL BUT SHY HER GRADES WENT DOWN SINCE SHE STARTED HERNANDO E SCHOOL SHE REALLY REALLY WANTS TO GO TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL TO BE AROUND POLITE CHILDREN AND FIT IN SHE HAS BEEN TOLD SHE IS SO INTELLIGENT THAT SHE CAN FINISH HIGH SCHOOL IN TWO YRS ALL I WANT AS A PARENT IS HELP FOR MY DAUGHTER WE NEED A SCHOLARSHIP FOR HER IN HERNANDO CO. I DO NOT WANT HER BACK INTO A PUBLIC SCHOOL AND SOMETHING TERRIBLY HORRIBLE HAPPEN BECAUSE OF THE BULLIES!! PLEASE HELP MY DAUGHTER !!

  3. Ron Matus February 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Hi Dianne, I am so sorry to hear about what your daughter is going through. When I was an education reporter, I heard many times from parents with similarly horrible stories. I’ll never forget one dad who called me and cried on the phone. His girls were being bullied at a middle school – and he couldn’t get the school principal to quickly and forcefully put an end to it. He didn’t know what else to do and frankly, I felt helpless. I don’t know if you qualify for a tax credit scholarship for your daughter, but here is the parents hotline number for Step Up For Students: 1-877-735-7837. The folks there should be able to answer any question you have. If for some reason you cannot get the help you need, please contact me. My email is rmatus@sufs.org. My phone number is 813-402-0207.

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