School Choice Stories

Chassidi Martin

“Putting dollars behind the child with

education savings accounts... would  give many more

families the ability to choose the education that fits

their values and child’s needs.”

 

“I was born and raised here in Waterloo, Iowa. I’ve always been very Waterloo-proud. When I went to college, I wanted to get some experience to bring back to this area – I’ve always wanted to come back and be a source of light in my community.”

“I am married with four daughters, my eldest is nine. Right around the time we started having kids, and as my kids continued to get older, we began thinking about how we were going to educate them.”

“I first met my co-founder, Kendall, about 10 years ago. We started having kids around the same time and we had these discussions with each other. We both had a desire to homeschool, but as the second and third child came along, I started to question whether that’s what was best. But we both came to conclusion that we should do it together, and we began homeschooling out of a Sunday school classroom at my church.”

“We had this really great thing going because Kendall is a licensed Spanish teacher, so she would teach our kids in Spanish one week and then I would come in and teach the curriculum in English the following week. We started having parents drop-in and ask if they could bring their kids or if this was something we were going to expand. That’s what led us to start thinking how we could grow it into what it is today, Royal Legacy Christian Academy.”

“We noticed there was a real gap in educational access in town. We always wanted our children to experience education seamlessly with their faith, we didn’t want them to have to compartmentalize their faith. We wanted a more holistic education for our kids. At the same time, we saw there were other families in our community that loved what we were doing but didn’t have the capacity to homeschool – whether it was because they worked or they were single parents.”

“They wanted it, but they couldn’t access it. We felt strongly that all kids should have the opportunity to choose this type of education.”

“Parents that make a choice about the best education for their child based on what they value should not be penalized. They shouldn’t be locked out of making that choice because the financial barrier is too high. Education savings accounts will make it possible for many families to choose the path they know is best for their child.”

 

 

“After a year of praying and planning, we opened the doors to Royal Legacy Christian Academy in 2018, with 28 students. We remain the only full Spanish immersion school in the Cedar Valley.”

“The goal of the program is for our children to be equally proficient in all four competencies of both English and Spanish. With the ‘early total one-way’ method, kindergarten through early elementary is taught exclusively in Spanish, and then slowly, we add a little bit more English in the upper elementary grades. So, my third grader is getting language arts and history in English right now.”

“It's very frustrating knowing that public schools get money for the students that we're educating. Education savings accounts would help us tremendously and would give us the ability to extend the unique opportunity and education we offer to more families in the area.”

“Education savings accounts would empower families to choose what is best for their kids. They would give parents the ability to choose the path that best corresponds to what is important for them. Faith is important, small class sizes are important, language learning and immersion is important. That combination is unique to us.”

“We offer tuition on a sliding scale and many of our families are on the lower end of that scale, with what they can afford to pay. But even with a sliding scale, it’s a stretch for some of our families. Putting dollars behind the child with education savings accounts would be so affirming and empowering for our families. It would give many more families the ability to choose the education that fits their values and child’s needs.”

Chassidi Martin
Co-Founder
Royal Legacy Christian Academy
Waterloo, IA