Choosing the Best School for Your Child

By Max Resnik

January 28, 2012 Updated Jan 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Nearly 1,000 parents and children attended the annual School Choice Fair hosted by the Fort Wayne Community Schools at Northrop High School.

The event gives parents in the district the opportunity to survey elementary, middle and high schools within FWCS as well as magnet schools and other educational opportunities.

Derrick Brown was one parent searching for schools today. He needed to find a middle school for his eldest daughter. Brown says choosing the right school is important for his family.

"It's fairly important for us to make sure that she's going to get a good education. We spend some time deciding on where we're going to try to send her."

Part of the decision making process for the Browns is considering the Hoosier State’s new voucher program, something Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) touted in a trip to Fort Wayne earlier in the week. Brown says he likes the idea of added choices for his girls.

"It would definitely be something that we would consider just to make the best decision, you know, that we can for my daughter's education."

FWCS Public Information Officer Krista Stockman says the voucher program has resulted in 392 students leaving the district to pursue a private school education. She says the real worry is the possibility of modifications to the bill that became law in July. Currently, the legislature is mulling over the idea of expanding the program, which has become the nation’s biggest, by eliminating a requirement that students have to have spent one full year in public school prior to becoming eligible for the voucher program.

"The legislature is talking about eliminating that provision, which we really find it a bit disingenuous based on the conversations of a year ago when they first passed the law that in order to allow us to compete, it was important for parents to at least have been in public school."

Stockman says 12 percent of all private schooled children are located in Allen County.

Brown says that as of now, he is happy with FWCS.

“I’m really happy. Both of my daughters go there now, and they both really excelled as far as their education.”

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