With parents and students no longer tied to neighborhood schools, the Miami-Dade County public school district offers more options to keep kids in the public system.
When classes start Monday, more than half of the students in Miami-Dade County will stream into a school they and their families picked themselves.
With charter schools, magnet schools and advanced-curriculum programs open to students across the district, schools no longer have captive audiences — students who must attend a particular school because of where they live.
The trend toward school choice in Miami-Dade has been accelerated by steadily increasing competition from charter schools. In response, the school district has launched ads on TV and in movie theaters, and established its own marketing office. It has launched more choice programs than ever, with 52 debuting this year alone.
“Rather than complain about the incoming tsunami of choice, we’re going to ride it,” said Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.