School at Home: The Educational Options In Michigan This Fall
Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event
Michigan faces a back-to-school season like never before. The uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 have left school officials scrambling to make plans for a possible return to in-person classes with special health measures in place, a repeat of the spring term’s distance learning, or some combination of the two. Faced with these unique conditions and their own children’s individual needs, many parents are surveying a range of educational possibilities they may never have considered before. What do families need to know to make informed decisions about homeschooling, virtual schooling and other unconventional options? What will this disruption mean for Michigan’s K-12 education landscape?
To learn more about this timely and important issue, this event will feature Leanne Van Beek, a practicing homeschooler and consultant, Deana Garcia, mother of a student at Highpoint Virtual Academy and Ben DeGrow, the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy. Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, will provide opening remarks.
This event will take place on Tuesday, August 11, at 11 a.m. EDT. To RSVP and receive access to the forum, please register below.
You can learn more about schooling options at School at Home in Michigan.
Ben DeGrow is the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy. DeGrow joined the Center in 2015 after a long stint at Colorado’s Independence Institute, where he provided expert analysis on school choice, school finance, collective bargaining and education employment policies. He has authored numerous policy reports and articles for various publications, and has appeared regularly on radio and television and before legislative committees.
Deana Garcia is the mother of a 17 year old daughter who attends Highpoint Virtual Academy. Her daughter has attended Highpoint for 2 years and is also taking advantage of the Early Middle College program that they offer in conjunction with Baker College.
An engineer by training, Joseph G. Lehman joined the Mackinac Center in 1995 and was named president in 2008. During his tenure Michigan has seen numerous free-market policy advances in education, labor and state fiscal affairs. Frequently published in national and state media, Lehman also has trained more than 600 public policy executives internationally on strategic leadership and communications. He and his wife are founders of Midland County Habitat for Humanity.
Leanne Van Beek has been hybrid-educating her children — ages 12, 10 and 8 — since 2013. Concurrently, she held leadership roles at a regional and national organization, and ran a consulting business that served local, state, and national clients. While challenging, she enjoyed (almost) everything about keeping a full-time career and being an intimate part of the learning and exploration at home. She also started a homeschool co-op in 2014 that they still participate in.
As a public school kid, she never saw herself homeschooling but is very grateful her husband encouraged her to explore it. She loves the freedom and efficiency of homeschooling, the agency it gives her kids, and the opportunities they have to learn and grow together.