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About Us

The National Coalition for Public School Options (PSO) is a national alliance of parents that supports and defends parents’ rights to access the best public school options for their children. The coalition supports the creation of public school options, including charter schools, online schools, magnet schools, open enrollment policies, and other innovative education programs. Additionally, we advocate for free and equal access without restrictions to these public schools for all children.

What We Do

The National Coalition for Public School Options advocates at the national, state and local levels for public school options that best serve individual students’ learning needs.

PSO informs lawmakers, policymakers and the public about the benefits of public school options through capitol day rallies, legislative meetings, committee hearing testimony, and more.

PSO fights back against threats to public school options, advocates for adequate and equitable funding, and dispels myths about innovative public schools.

Access barriers that prevent parents from choosing the best public school option for their child must be removed so that all students have equal access to a great education.

Board of Directors

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Colleen Cook, Oklahoma, President

Colleen Cook is a passionate advocate for school choice and parents’ rights. When forced in 2012 to make a change to improve her children’s education opportunities, Colleen became actively involved in the school choice movement in Oklahoma. Since that time, Colleen has grown from an advocate for her children into a national advocate for students in her home state of Oklahoma and across the country.

A Navy veteran and former spouse of a retired Naval Officer, Colleen understands transitional military life can be on families. She speaks often of the importance for military children to have strong educational options available to them, regardless of where duty calls.

As a mother, Colleen believes that all students have unique needs and that school choice allows all students to excel as individuals. Colleen’s children have utilized many options throughout their academic lives, including private, public, public charter, virtual and virtual charter, and college-level courses.

Colleen currently serves as President of the National Coalition for Public School Options Board of Directors. In addition to her advocacy for choice in education, Colleen dedicates her time to supporting Marine families, sharing pictures and stories of her grandson, and spending every other possible moment with her family and friends.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Kyla Anderson, New Mexico, Director

Kyla Anderson is the mother of two boys, a foster parent, president of the New Mexico Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options, and president of the board of Pecos Connections Academy, a virtual charter school chartered with the Carlsbad Municipal Schools in New Mexico. Kyla became an advocate for school choice six years ago because of poor experiences her children had in both traditional public and private schools. An educator for seven years, Kyla knew something needed to change with New Mexico’s education system. She works tirelessly to educate parents about their school choice options, teaches them how to advocate for their children, and is a voice for all News Mexico children. Kyla and her husband live with their children in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Wei Barr, Alabama, Director

Wei Barr hails from Alabama where her children joined Alabama Virtual Academy at the Eufaula City Schools as founding members in 2016. Born and raised in China, Wei immigrated to the US in 2007 and witnessed firsthand the power and impact School Choice has on children and their families. She believes the freedom to choose is the foundation to a democratic society and works tirelessly to promote choice and equality within Alabama education communities. Wei has been an active member of the parent advisory committee for ALVA where she serves the virtual school families by advocating for School Choice before state legislators. Wei and her husband Joseph are both instructional designers by trade who serve in the K-16 remote learning industry. She can be found in the woodworking shop when she is away from the screen.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Shea Mackin, Texas, Treasurer

Shea Mackin, a champion of school choice for over 16 years, believes every student is unique and deserves access to the education that fits their needs. She and her husband have four sons who have all used different types of schooling at different times in their lives. Shea believes that parents know their children better than anyone else and need to be trusted to choose the educational option that works for each child individually. Shea has been an active parent leader in the Texas Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options since 2015 and can often be found at the Texas state capitol meeting with legislators and sharing why school choice is important. Shea is also a volunteer leader for the local Boy Scouts organization. She lives in Pflugerville, Texas with her husband and children.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography.  www.jasondixson.com

Jay Schuler, Nevada, Director

Jay Schuler joined the Nevada Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options in 2015 after attending the coalition’s inaugural Capitol Day in Carson City where families gathered to celebrate school choice options and share their stories with legislators. Jay’s passion for education began when his son was struggling in 4th grade. Jay started searching for another way to educate his son after he turned to the traditional brick and mortar school for help only to find road block after road block and no options to help his son. Today Jay travels with his hot air balloon promoting education choice and letting parents know they have options. Jay and his family reside in Reno, Nevada.

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Letrisha Weber, Indiana, Director

Letrisha Weber is the mother of one virtual school student and one hybrid school student. When decisions from Indiana legislators and the State Board of Education threatened to change their accessibility to the hybrid school in 2015, she began her journey as a school choice advocate. She has grown from a parent attending statehouse events to the Indiana Chair and most recently an addition to the board of directors for the National Coalition for Public School Options. In the current situation, she uses her perspective as a medical professional to support EVERYONE’s right to safe and healthy educational choices that fit their needs. Academic enrichment and an out-of-the-box mindset brought her family to this choice. As a small business owner she understands that adaptability is highly important for success and is a major influence for staying with school choice. The passion and stories from families across the country keep her advocating for school choice.

Photo by Jason Dixson Photography. 
www.jasondixson.com

Christin Kaiser, Louisiana, Director

Born and raised in Westwego where I currently reside with my three children:
Mary-Grace (14) a 7th grader in her third year with Louisiana Virtual Academy; Kole (12) a 6th grader at Myrtle C. Thibodaux; and Lydia (7) a 1st grader attending Laureate Academy Charter School.

I became involved in school choice advocacy after attending Louisiana’s first Capitol day in 2013 where I was invited to attend PSO’s upcoming annual Boot Camp held in Washington DC. Shortly after returning I took on the role of Louisiana chapter president and currently have the honor of serving on the national board. Being involved in PSO has been a great hands on opportunity not only for myself but for my children as well. They have had the privilege of attending senate hearings and court hearings where they have seen first hand that a voice can have a positive impact.