The Bline Family
3 min read

The Bline Family

Russellville, Arkansas

Next Gen
Nov 28
3 min read

“My husband and I have lived in Russellville for two years. Our 14-year-old daughter started going to school at Valley Christian School this year. Last year, she attended Pottsville for about half of the school year. It wasn’t the right place for her, and we wound up homeschooling for the rest of the year. Someone told us about Valley Christian, but we weren’t in a good place to spend the money to send her there. The staff at Valley Christian told us about the Education Freedom Accounts (EFA), so we applied.

The EFA program has had a huge impact on my family. I’m looking for a job right now, so paying for Valley Christian would have been financially uncomfortable. My mother has also been ill since April, and I had to take off work to help care for her. It’s also had an academic and social impact on my daughter. She’s able to go to a school where she’s a good fit. Our minds are at peace, and my daughter is where she needs to be.

At first, we didn’t know about Valley Christian. When someone told us about the school, the school year had already started. We were late filing for the EFA, and the school was worried that it might be too late to receive anything. Thankfully, it wasn’t. The application process was much easier than I thought it would be. Because our daughter is a former foster child who we adopted, we were able to qualify for the EFA.

The change of schools has been great for her. Our daughter has ADHD and was on medication for a while, but as she grew older, we began to see a lot of negative side effects. We stopped the medication, which was better for her mental health. But it wasn’t better for her academically. 

At public school, she was lost in the system. Public schools introduce new subjects and quickly move on to the next. If you don’t understand it the first time, you fall behind and stay behind. Because of the large number of kids they’re expected to teach, the teachers have difficulty helping the kids that need some extra teaching. The EFA program allowed us to utilize a smaller environment where our daughter gets the help she needs. There are fewer kids, so she’s less distracted. Valley Christian is a better fit for her, and we plan to graduate her through that school.

It’s nice to have the freedom to be in control of your child’s education. I’m a nurse, so I know that in other areas like the medical field you’re often told what to do. Insurance will dictate whether you can or can’t have a particular test. It’s been that way with education for a while.

School choice helped us some, and we utilized it. But the EFA program is a step above that. It even helps people who choose to homeschool. We’ve never had anything like that before.

There’s so much that we can’t control about our lives and our children’s lives. Having the freedom to choose where you want your child to attend school makes a huge difference.

Heather Bline

Arkansas mom, nurse, and education freedom success story

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