Public school wasn't cutting it for Patricia Andrade's youngest son, Javier Andrade, who faces several challenges, including a processing disorder that makes it difficult for him to grasp everything teachers say.
The working mother had faced similar issues with the oldest of her three children, now 20, and was dissatisfied with the children's experiences in Fort Wayne Community Schools.
“Every day there was a problem,” she said, noting it got to the point Javier didn't want to go to school.
When she heard about vouchers, she jumped at the opportunity for him and her middle child, Eliasz Romano. The family has now used vouchers for about five years, enabling the boys to receive education from schools Andrade previously could not afford, she said. Javier is a seventh-grader at Lutheran South Unity School, and Eliasz is a freshman at Bishop Luers High School.
“My children have come so far in their education because of LSUS,” Andrade said. “The education at nonpublic is above all others.”
Located in south Fort Wayne near Luers, Lutheran South Unity offers a small student body; 174 students in grades K-8 were enrolled last year. It received a C for its state accountability grade in 2016-17, down from a B in the previous academic year.
Lawmakers require each school receive an accountability grade every year. The biggest factor is performance on the standardized test, though graduation rate and a few other data points are included.