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Educational Choice News

"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

"Jeffries: What School Choice Means for Democrats in the Age of Trump" From The 74

on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

This is National School Choice Week, wherein education reform advocates aim to raise public awareness and support for many different K-12 school options. But “school choice” means different things to different people — so it’s also an opportunity to examine what this broad term means in the context of the past year in politics, especially if you’re a Democrat.

With President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos driving the public dialogue toward their far-right, for-profit privatization agenda, an alien from another planet could be forgiven for landing here and assuming that “school choice” is the priority of only the Republican Party — or that Democrats are in retreat when it comes to expanding options for improved public education for all students.

Continue reading "Jeffries: What School Choice Means for Democrats in the Age of Trump" From The 74. 

"After Lengthy Court Battle, Colorado School Board Votes to End Contested Voucher Program" from The 74

on Wednesday, 06 December 2017.

The Douglas County, Colorado school board voted last night to end the district’s controversial voucher program in a highly anticipated, yet closely-watched move.

In a race that received national attention for its potential implications for voucher programs around the country, voters in November elected four anti-voucher school board candidates, who joined three like-minded members on the board.

In the runup to the election, the American Federation of Teachers spent $300,000 to support anti-voucher candidates, and Republican donors contributed heavily to their opponents, the Denver Post reported.

Continue reading "After Lengthy Court Battle, Colorado School Board Votes to End Contested Voucher Program" from The 74.