Dawn Hakim, Santa Clarita

Our family moved to the Santa Clarita Valley because it was a great community. Since then, our family has seen first-hand the value of school choice. One size does not fit all.

Although our local school was great, we quickly concluded it wasn’t a good fit for our son as he entered kindergarten. We were blessed when a charter school opened. It had the perfect combination of project-based learning and traditional teaching models. Our kindergartener thrived. Our second child wanted to stay at our neighborhood school with her friends. And that was great for her.

The fight for education choice impacts children and their families. Lately, this choice has been overtaken by politics while forgetting the needs of families and children to choose the best possible education for themselves.

Right now, in Santa Clarita, our families are as pawns in the politics over charter schools. My son was devastated when the charter school he was attending closed, and he returned to the local traditional public school. He has been bored and has difficulty adjusting.

A new charter, Eagle Collegiate Academy, seeks to open in our community, and we believe it would be the right choice for our family.

But the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District’s Board members denied Eagle’s charter petition. Politics triumphed over the needs of families at the district level and the county.

Hence, the Eagle Collegiate Academy team and families have taken a long and arduous road to arrive at its charter appeal to the State Board of Education.

Santa Clarita families are desperate for public school choice options. As a result, families and community members continue to passionately support the establishment of Eagle Collegiate Academy, a proposed Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade college preparatory International Baccalaureate World School.

Eagle Collegiate Academy would be the only pre-kindergarten to 12th grade seat-based charter school serving the Santa Clarita Valley. It will have small class sizes, offer Korean and Spanish languages, and before and after school programs. The number of families waiting for Eagle Collegiate Academy to open its doors have exceeded Eagle’s capacity.

When elected officials use the power of their offices to act in a true altruistic manner by developing policies that serve the needs of all their constituents, we can avoid being a “yo-yo” society with no true moral stance where only the wants of the group in the majority are served at any given time.

Our family and many other families in the Santa Clarita Valley need an alternative public school choice. Our families have chosen Eagle Collegiate Academy as the school choice for our children.

We have been waiting for Eagle Collegiate Academy to open its doors because it meets our needs and because one size does not fit all.

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