Video: School choice at work in rural America


Editor’s note: This video spotlights another rural private school that caters to school choice students and is changing lives and communities for the better. To learn more about how choice is helping rural areas, check out our new paper, “Rerouting the Myths of Rural Education Choice.”

When you think of school choice, you probably don’t think of places like Bristol, Florida.

But you should!

Bristol is a one-stoplight town in bear country. It has 996 people. And it’s home to a beloved, home-grown private school called the Gold Star Private Academy.

Every student at Gold Star uses a state-funded school choice scholarship. And as you’ll see in this 4-minute video, their once-desperate parents couldn’t be happier.

School choice is changing lives – and sometimes saving them – wherever it exists. In Florida, that includes little towns like Bristol, and Wauchula, and Williston, and Clewiston

And yet, in states like Texas and Oklahoma, school choice opponents have managed to scare otherwise level-headed people into believing that choice can’t work in rural areas and/or will “kill” their rural public schools.

Gold Star Private Academy is the antidote to that fearmongering.

Enjoy the video.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at