Behning: Driving student success through parent empowerment

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Friday, January 25, 2019 3:31 pm

Every child deserves an effective, challenging and motivating education. To drive student success, Indiana continues empowering parents to choose the school that best fits the needs of their child. As we celebrate National School Choice Week highlighting Indiana’s strong school choice opportunities, it’s important to recognize how vital it is to put parents in control of their child’s education.

Across the state, children can access a variety of schooling options, regardless of their ZIP code. Since 2011, Hoosier students have enjoyed the freedom and flexibility our state’s school choice program provides. Kids can receive an excellent education from traditional public schools, charter schools, nonpublic schools, virtual schools and more. Whichever school they choose, students can enroll in a program that meets their learning needs.

Parents are empowered to determine which school to send their child to because they know what works best for them and their family. They understand their child’s unique strengths and challenges, and ultimately want to see them succeed inside and outside the classroom. An engaged parent, along with a solid education, is key to preparing students for bright futures. 

Throughout their K-12 career, students will spend more than 10,000 hours in a classroom, and where they choose to spend their time matters. No child is the same, and everyone learns differently. A one-size-fits-all education system often holds students back or allows some to fall behind their peers. While one student may thrive in a traditional public school, another may excel in an online program. Students succeed when they are matched with a learning environment that meets their individual needs. 

While strong academic programs are often the driving force behind a parent’s decision to send their child to a particular school, it’s not the only reason. Some schools are better equipped to meet specific health needs, and others offer a completely different learning environment to help students grow outside the classroom.    

For years, Indiana has placed a premium on a parent’s right to choose the most effective learning option for their child. I have always been a firm believer that students’ education options should not be limited by where they live. Every opportunity should be made available to all Hoosier children to pursue an education at the school that best meets their needs. With Indiana’s strong school choice policies, families have never been in more control of their child’s education. 

To learn about your child’s school choice options, visit At the end of the day, we must continue doing what’s right for students and doing all we can to help them succeed.    


State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,

which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.