ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Georgia mom Jae Harrison Patterson realized during the pandemic that traditional public school wouldn’t be an option for her two younger children. A charter school made more sense.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Patterson. “Their whole instructional model is so targeted at meeting the children where they are, and I love that.”

“There is a huge demand among parents in the Atlanta area for information,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, adding that this is crunch time for parents to make decisions for the upcoming school year.

“Don’t wait because if you wait too long, you’ll find that seats in schools are filling up,” he said.

Georgia's public schools saw a 2.2% dip in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year. Campanella does expect enrollment to bounce back this year, but he says the pandemic was an eye-opener to many parents that they have a choice.

“A lot of families determined that there is something better out there,” Campanella said. “Maybe it’s a public school in a different district. Maybe it’s a free-to-attend public charter school. Maybe it’s a theme-based magnet school.”

“I know that there will still be challenges,” said Patterson, “but I’m excited about our choice and I’m grateful that we have that choice.”

Parents interested in their options can go to www.schoolchoiceweek.com.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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