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Educational Choice News

"How Betsy DeVos Softened Her Message on School Choice" from Politico

on Monday, 12 February 2018.

Betsy DeVos became famous — and infamous in some quarters — as the leader of an education movement that pushed for public funding for private schools, including religious education.

But a year into her tenure as President Donald Trump’s Education secretary, DeVos generally steers clear of the words, “school choice,” a phrase she once used often that's freighted with racial, demographic and religious implications. Instead, she opts for gentler terms such as “innovation” and “blended learning,” and speaks of coming together and “finding solutions.”

Continue reading "How Betsy DeVos Softened Her Message on School Choice" from Politico

"No Charter School Likely to Open in KY Until at Least 2019, as Lawmakers Spar Over Funding, Regulations" from The 74

on Wednesday, 07 February 2018.

The difficulties of opening charter schools — and creating strong charter legislation — are showing in Kentucky.

The state joined 44 others and Washington, D.C., in March 2017 when lawmakers passed legislation authorizing charter schools. But no charter school calls Kentucky home yet, and it is unlikely one will open until at least 2019.

Legislators still need to nail down a permanent funding stream for the schools, and the education department has to finalize some other regulations, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Continue reading "No Charter School Likely to Open in KY Until at Least 2019, as Lawmakers Spar Over Funding, Regulations" from The 74

"To Spark a Catholic School Renaissance, We Need to Put Our Faith in Autonomous School Networks" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

on Tuesday, 30 January 2018.

News of Catholic school closures has become so commonplace over the past few decades that it’s almost not news anymore. What was once a vibrant nationwide school system serving five million students a year has become a struggling sector serving fewer than half that number. Last week, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced its plan to close another five schools at the end of this year, citing declining enrollment and financial challenges. One of these schools has been serving students on Chicago’s South Side for over 115 years. In Memphis, the diocese announced yesterday that all nine of its inner-city Jubilee Schools will close this year. It’s long been clear that something has to change.

Continue reading "To Spark a Catholic School Renaissance, We Need to Put Our Faith in Autonomous School Networks" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

"Bruce Rauner Brings Educational Freedom to Illinois Families" from National Review

on Tuesday, 30 January 2018.

Something revolutionary is happening right now in education. Illinois, one of the most union-dominated states in the country, is ushering in a new era of educational freedom. Governor Bruce Rauner has pulled off the seemingly impossible: He led a bipartisan effort to bring educational choice to Illinois, and it begins this week.

Through a historic new program signed into law by Governor Rauner last year, taxpayers can now receive tax credits for helping fund a $100 million scholarship program. In the first year, children from families with incomes less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line will be eligible to receive a scholarship on a first-come, first-served basis.

Beginning this week, students and their families may apply for scholarships through the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Program’s designated scholarship-granting organizations. 

Continue reading "Bruce Rauner Brings Educational Freedom to Illinois Families" from National Review

"Do School Vouchers Work? Milwaukee’s Experiment Suggests an Answer" from The Wall Street Journal

on Monday, 29 January 2018.

MILWAUKEE—Almost three decades ago, Milwaukee started offering the nation’s first-ever school vouchers. Starting small, the program allowed poor children to use taxpayer money to attend private schools. Today, about a quarter of Milwaukee children educated with public funds take advantage, making the program a testing ground for a big experiment in education.

Did students in the program get a better education? That depends on how participating schools handled a critical issue: how many voucher students to let in.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of the data suggests vouchers worked best when enrollment from voucher students was kept low. As the percentage of voucher students rises, the returns diminish until the point when there is little difference between the performance of public and private institutions. The vast majority of private schools participating in the program today have high percentages of publicly funded students.

Continue reading "Do School Vouchers Work? Milwaukee’s Experiment Suggests an Answer" from The Wall Street Journal