We want great schools.

But even a great school isn’t great for every child. One student thrives in a large school with plentiful academic, sports and extracurricular activities while another is lost in the crowd and does better at a small, independent school. One student finds purpose in a school with a high tech vocational program while another eagerly learns Chinese at a language immersion charter school. Still another earns credits at an online school at home while she cares for an infant.

Every child is different. The type of school students attend—be it traditional public, public charter, independent, or home based—doesn’t matter so long as it meets their needs and they are learning. After all, good schools are good schools. Great teachers are great teachers no matter where the learning takes place.

In Colorado, parents have unprecedented options for choosing the right school from among the state’s 1,500 plus traditional public schools, 174 public charter schools, and more than 500 private schools.

Right now, some 78,000 students attend the state’s public charter schools. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools are managed independently from the district and select their own curricula, instructional methods, and teachers.

More than 6,400 Colorado families choose to home school and another 68,000 students attend independent schools. Colorado is not, however, one of the 20 states that provides support for families who select independent schools.

Yet Colorado still has work to do in making sure that all students are getting the skills that they need. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress assessments, 47 percent of Colorado’s 4th graders and 43 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math. Thirty-nine percent of 4th graders and 40 percent of 8th graders are proficient in reading. Over a third of students are proficient on science and writing exams. The Colorado Department of Education reports that nearly 74 percent of high school seniors graduate on time.

Clearly some students are doing very well. Other students need a new school to call home.

Many of the state’s traditional and charter public schools are at capacity in terms of enrollment and must place students on waitlists. While new public charter schools are opening every year, lawmakers should consider ways to expand the number of high quality schooling options.

After all, school choice isn’t about placing blame or pointing a finger, it’s about helping kids find the right school for them.

Did you know that a quarter of Colorado high school students do not graduate on time if at all?