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Educational Choice News

"The Problem of Dwindling Urban Catholic Schools" from AEI

on Wednesday, 07 March 2018.

LAST MONTH, THE DIOCESE of Memphis announced it would cease operations of Jubilee Catholic Schools, a network serving more than 1,400 of the city’s disadvantaged students. Jubilee had become financially unsustainable. The diocese didn’t have the money to keep the schools afloat, and the low-income families they served couldn’t pay the tuition necessary to cover the gap.

Although many grieved the loss, those who follow urban Catholic schooling have become mostly inured to such stories. Inner-city Catholic schools have been closing for decades, a consequence of a combination of challenges including changing urban demographics; fewer priests, brothers and nuns; the competition from charter schools; and more.

But the news of Jubilee’s demise was especially poignant. This was not supposed to happen.

Continue reading "The Problem of Dwindling Urban Catholic Schools" from AEI.

"Do School Vouchers Help Kids Get to College? Studies Offer Mixed Results." from Governing

on Wednesday, 28 February 2018.

School choice is the centerpiece of President Trump’s vision for reshaping the Department of Education. In his recent budget proposal, Trump included $500 million in funding to support the expansion of school voucher programs, funding for the construction of new charters and the option for parents to use 529 college savings plans to pay for private K-12 education.

His approach is in line with proposals from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has long championed school choice as a way to help parents from underserved communities secure a better education for their children and as a means to spur competition that advocates say will improve schools across the board.

Continue reading "Do School Vouchers Help Kids Get to College? Studies Offer Mixed Results." from Governing

"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