Syreeta Campbell

School Choice Spotlight on Private Education – Syreeta Campbell

Syreeta lives in North Philadelphia and has chosen to send her son to private school because of the opportunities available to him there that are non-existent at his local public school.

Syreeta, who refers to herself as “just an ordinary mom,” believes every child deserves a decent education. No child should be forced to attend a failing school that shows no signs of progress from year to year.

Syreeta also believes you can tell a lot about someone’s priorities when you look at their budget. And as far as priorities for the Philadelphia School District? According to Syreeta, “There’s mold. There’s lead. There’s no air conditioning. The bathrooms, the water fountains aren’t working. Even if they throw money at it today, it’s not gonna be fixed tomorrow. In the meantime, you have kids that are going to these schools that are failing, not benefiting them. It’s not logical.”

That’s why Syreeta chose St. Malachy Independent Mission School for her son. She notes that St. Malachy is small enough to feel like a family but big enough that wherever you go, you always see a St. Malachy student. While the cost of tuition, uniforms, school supplies, and extracurricular activities add up, the educational experience is worth it. Syreeta is adamant that her son attends a school where the upkeep of buildings is just as important as the emphasis on academics.

Syreeta points out that so many issues with Philadelphia Public Schools are because the mayor names the school board members rather than taxpayers electing them. “If the mayor appoints the school board, then they’re beholden to the mayor, not to the citizens who paid the taxes,” she says. Because her son attends a private school, Syreeta has input at her son’s school, without going through the mayor, without showing up at school board meetings, and without submitting costly Right to Know requests.

“My son has a plethora of opportunities as a result of where he is now [private school]. If he was at a public school, those opportunities would not be available to him. I know that because I’ve seen other families and their children don’t have the opportunities that my son has. Access to a good education is the biggest barrier for a lot of kids. And it’s shameful,” says Syreeta.

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