About

PublicSchoolOptions.org is an alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The Coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies and other innovative education programs.  Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.

What We Believe

We believe students learn in unique ways, and it is not possible for every student’s learning needs to be met by the nearest traditional neighborhood public school;

We believe parents should have innovative public school options to meet the learning needs of their children;

We believe public school options are increasingly provided from coast-to-coast through charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies, and other innovative education programs.

We resolve all families should have access to the public school options that best serve their children’s learning needs.

Who We Are

Our organization was founded by parents who are dedicated to supporting and defending public school options in their states and around the country.

PublicSchoolOptions.org Board of Directors

Beth Purcell, South Carolina, President
Cherie Nielsen, Virginia, Treasurer
Alisa Hug, Georgia, Director
Sandy Smith, Michigan, Director
Tillie Elvrum, Colorado, Director
Lauren Marshall, Oklahoma, Director
Amy Threewitt, Wyoming, Director

What We Do

Public charter schools and distance education through public online schools are two vital elements of public school choice. Currently there are over 2 million students enrolled in over 5,600 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia. As of February 2012, there were 250,000 full-time online students in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

PublicSchoolOptions.org advocates on national and state levels for public education options that best serve each student’s unique learning needs. The Coalition works to keep these options accessible to students across the United States who are currently enrolled in innovative public schools, and to ensure that these options are made accessible to students and their families in every state.

The Coalition informs policymakers and the public about the benefits of public education options and innovative public schools. Through sponsoring school visits, live learning demonstrations, family days at capitols, newsletters, policy briefings, news coverage, and more, the Coalition works to raise awareness about the benefits of public education options.

The Coalition challenges legislative threats to public education options, fights for adequate and equitable funding, and dispels myths and misrepresentations about innovative public schools. With demand for public school options increasing every year, it is imperative that barriers to innovative schools are removed and students have open and equal access to all public school options.

Download the 2013 PublicSchoolOptions.org Scrapbook

In the News...

Military Families Band Together Education Options
March 17, 2014

Getting Smart, Tillie Elvrum Published March 17, 2014 Of all the challenges military parents face, sending your children off for their first day at a new school is among the most heart-wrenching.  Memorizing a new locker combination, braving a sea of unfamiliar faces in the cafeteria, warming up to new teachers – the transition is […]

Can virtual schools perform as well as a traditional classroom?
March 7, 2014

89.3 KPCC Published March 7, 2014 [AUDIO] For some kids, traditional school isn’t necessarily the best option. They may have medical needs that make getting to school difficult, or perhaps they’re athletes who travel frequently to train and compete. In these cases, a virtual education might serve them better. This week, parents and teachers of students who […]

Education, Nonprofit, Government & Tech Worlds Collide this Month in Virtual Agreement
February 27, 2014

Getting Smart, Beth Purcell Published February 27, 2014 Technology is not the answer. At least not “the entire answer,” according to President Obama’s February 4 speech on ConnectED, the federal program designed to connect 99 percent of America’s schools to the Internet.  Announced just prior to Digital Learning Day, the comment could seem oddly placed.  As PBSLearningMedia, the National […]

PublicSchoolOptions Blog

Teachers’ “10 Tips” Offer Success Strategies for Online Learning
April 22, 2014

4.22.14 What’s the secret to online learning success? On Getting Smart, two teachers offer insightful tips for virtual public school students.  They also demonstrate what our American Pioneer of Teaching Award, currently underway, celebrates: insightful, creative attention to the needs of students in nontraditional public schools.   The blog’s authors, both full-time virtual public education […]

Capitol Days Rally on in Ohio, Louisiana
April 18, 2014

4.18.14 April showers didn’t deter families in Ohio and Louisiana this month as coalition members, teachers and students gathered for fellowship and advocacy at their annual Capitol Days.   At the height of state legislative sessions, these families and teachers delivered their message of public school options with gusto. In Louisiana, state chair Christin Kaiser and […]

A Teacher’s Voice: 2013 American Pioneer of Teaching Finalist on What the Award Means to Him Facebook Voting begins April 24th!
April 16, 2014

4.16.14 On your mark, get set, go!  In education, it seems, the often-used metaphor is that of a race.  No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, getting kids across the finish line, and kids working at their own pace, are just some of the examples which come to mind.  Fortunately for me, this comparison […]