Thousands Attend Duval School-Choice Expo

Jan 9, 2016

Parents and kids visit Duval County's annual School Choice Expo at the Prime Osborn Convention Center Saturday.
Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Saturday, thousands of parents and kids attended the county’s annual School Choice Expo at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Magnet schools and traditional neighborhood schools displayed their offerings.

Melanie Fisher was looking at specialty high schools for her son. She says if it weren’t for the variety of programs, she’d probably switch to private school.

“It’s difficult, I think, in today’s age to get kids interested in education and to find something that motivates them,” she said. “My son, who is 13, is not great with core classes, so if I can find something that he’s really interested in, that may spur him on into a career. That’s what we’re interested in.”

Duval County School Board Member Becki Couch says she’s happy to see so many parents’ taking charge of their kids’ education.

“We have to recognize that parents are going to do what they think is best for their child, and they’re going to utilize the choices that they have for the best fit, and so we have to recognize that and really participate,” Couch says.

Duval Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti credits the district’s school-choice office — in part — for this year’s lower-than-expected charter school enrollment.