Tens of thousands of people across the country are celebrating educational choice this week.

President Trump also issued a proclamation on Monday declaring this week to be “National School Choice Week.” But despite many West Virginians in favor of education policy, that doesn’t ring true for everyone across the Eastern Panhandle.

“Ensuring a brighter, more prosperous future for West Virginia” is just one goal of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy.

“This is a recognition that one-size doesn’t fit all in education and let’s put children first and see and allow their families to pick the kind of education that will fit their learning style,” Executive Director for the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Garrett Ballengee said.

On Tuesday evening, Jefferson County residents gathered to learn more about school choice, which is a program that would allow parents to use tax money to enroll their children where they see fit.

“I think parents know their children best and they understand what their child needs from a learning perspective/ Choice allows parents to really go out and find what the best fit is for their child,” Ballengee said.

Ballengee said these options include public schools, charter schools, private schools, online academies, and more.

Though many states across the country have choice in education, West Virginia is not one of them and some residents feel it should stay that way.

“One thing we don’t need to do, the last thing we need to do is send more of our precious education dollars to out-of-state corporations,” said Chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Executive Committee, John Maxey. “That’s exactly what Cardinal Institute is proposing with school privitazation.”

Maxey believes education should continue to be a public project and that the focus on education has a domino-effect on the area’s development.

“Corporations don’t want to move their employees to a state that under-funds its education system and underpays its teachers. That’s the single-most important reason that we lack the economic development that we so direly need,” Maxey said.

The School Choice Week Proclamation dates back to 2011 under the Obama administration.