Shirline Wilson, mother of three, enrolled her son Miles in Rainier Prep as soon as the state adopted the public charter program. As a technology professional whose husband began his career as an educator, it was important to her that her youngest got a quality education that fit his unique learning and socio-emotional needs.

“When my family exercised our vote in favor of charter schools two years ago, we had every intention of following our vote at the earliest opportunity,” she wrote in a recent editorial. “While we understand there is no silver bullet that addresses every student’s needs, the very existence of choice creates a window of opportunity for our family to find programs that address our child’s passion for learning and match his strengths.”

For Shirline, the appeal of Rainier Prep is having more involvement in her child’s education, and she appreciates the school’s emphasis on diversity.

“It is unacceptable that children of color—my own included—are being so tragically and vastly underserved for their basic education needs,” she says. “For the last four years, we have turned to a private school to give my son the education he needs and deserves, and it has been a great expense for our family.”

Rainier Prep offers more than financial relief. The school provides “what our child needs emotionally, culturally and academically,” says Shirline. “It’s about seeing him happy and loving learning for a lifetime.”

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