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Letter to the Editor on Sunday, November 15, 2020

Why Mon County needs charter schools

Since I am one of the founding members of the West Virginia Academy Board, people have asked me why I am trying to start a charter school in West Virginia; more specifically, in an area that claims they don’t want one.

Personally, I am not convinced that everyone in this community feels the same. I believe it is the monopoly of local public schools that are afraid to have one; thus trying to persuade everyone that they don’t want one.

I am a mother of four school-aged children. In the past 20 years, I taught in public schools, a private school and a charter school. We were excited to move to West Virginia and experience this wild and wonderful state. However, after the first school year, we were sorely disappointed in the quality of education my children received.

We decided to home-school for a year in order to get them back up to grade level. Again, we tried the public system and, again, we were disappointed in the outcome. I know we are not alone in this feeling. Yet, the alternatives available now are grim: Pay for private school or pay for extra tutoring.

Monongalia County Schools tout they are the best in the state. Then why be afraid of a little competition? The district and school leaders have been a single voice, claiming to be all the teachers in the area. However, I know there is a quiet group of teachers and parents that don’t agree. Sadly, these quiet voices are stifled by the loud, intimidating forces that are preventing change.

Why am I trying to start a charter school here? I want to offer an alternative to the public schools. An option that is free and open to all. We will be an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, known across the globe for its cross-cultural education and emphasis on the students’ personal development. We also can offer an alternative calendar, extending school throughout the year, giving students more time in an educationally safe environment. I want options and choices for my children.

Heidi Treu Morgantown

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