Virginia: Public school parents flock to Christian education

by Renata

Renata Kiss, FISM News


While the war over the minds of students continues in public schools, one church has stepped up to provide a much-needed alternative. Virginia-based megachurch Cornerstone Chapel opened its doors to over 500 students this year at their newly minted Cornerstone Christian Academy.

Pastor Gary Hamrick announced a plan for a K-8 Christian school last year in response to growing concerns over “woke” public education practices. And his plans were well-received.

According to both parents and teachers, the school is a breath of fresh air. The CCA’s website states that the school’s mission is to “provide a dynamic and transformational educational experience” from a biblical worldview. The institution also takes into account the school’s private status by offering financial help to those who are unable to afford tuition on their own.

“Pastor Gary Hamrick didn’t want CCA to only be a school for the affluent,” said the Head of School, Dr. Sam Botta. 

Botta said that CCA’s goal is to partner with parents without unnecessary overreach.

“They’re the primary educators of their children,” Botta told Fox News. “We just come alongside them. We’re just here to support them.” 

Dr. Botta said that regardless of religious beliefs, most parents recognize the foolishness of woke bathroom policies that recently plagued Fairfax County Public Schools. He said that when parents were confronted with these issues, “they didn’t walk, they ran” to Cornerstone Christian Academy.

“The biggest thing I find as a parent so refreshing is that this school… their intention is really to partner with parents,” said Jennifer Paranzino, a current CCA parent.

These families are not alone. During the pandemic, 1.2 million K-12 students left the public school system in what seems like a mass exodus from government-subsidized education. As a result, private school enrollments grew by 140,000 between 2019 and 2022, according to an education news resource. While some parents were bothered by the lack of education during lockdowns, others were concerned about indoctrination. 

“There’s a lot of cultural things that are being targeted at our children,” CCA teacher Leah Melcher told Fox. “Whether it’s through media, what they listen to, what they watch. And it’s so sneaky and so subtle, and it’s so important that they understand what the truth is.”

Cornerstone Christian Academy’s efforts serve as an encouragement to many. In the Apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”