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.”