At her inauguration ceremony last year, Lovely Warren made a promise to her daughter, Taylor.
“We will fix our schools because you and every child deserves that,” the mayor said.
Warren has noted many middle class families move out of the city when their children turn school-age. The mayor revealed her family was not exempt from having to make hard choices about where to send a child to school.
Although Taylor attended Rochester City School District programs for preschool, Warren and her husband are opting to send Taylor to private school for kindergarten. She is enrolled at Northstar Christian Academy in Gates.
“We are Christians and we wanted to make a faith-based decision, but also one that we believe will give her the academic success she needs for her future,” said Warren.
Warren said she considered RCSD, charter, Catholic and private institutions. Her decision isn’t necessarily a knock on any other school, she said.
“I’m not going to take away another person’s, or another parent’s right to send their child to whatever school they feel is the best for them and people shouldn’t do the same to me,” Warren said.
“Every family should be free to make decisions that are best for their children or their families. I wouldn’t rush to judge that,” said Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski. “I think what we should be watchful about is not what decisions the mayor makes for her own family. We should be watchful for what decisions the mayor makes for helping us to improve public schools.”
Lovely Warren’s income means she can afford to send Taylor to private school. But she knows not all parents have that choice. The mayor thinks they should. She supports the proliferation of good charter schools, as well as tax credits and other programs to help parents send their kids to private schools.
“I believe that they should have that choice. I believe that the money should follow the child to whatever school that parent feels is best for their children,” Warren said.
Warren went to Catholic schools for third through eighth grade. She opted to go to Wilson Magnet for High School. She said Taylor may choose the same path and attend a city high school.