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"Illinois Passes Landmark Funding Bill Creating Tax Credit Scholarship, Sending More Money to Poor Schools" from The 74

on Wednesday, 30 August 2017.

Illinois lawmakers passed a landmark compromise that would revamp the way schools are funded and create the state’s first private school choice program.

The Senate on Tuesday afternoon voted 38-13 to approve the plan, a day after it made it through the House.

“There will not be another generation of students subject to inequity, the worst in the country, after this bill becomes law,” Democratic Sen. Andy Manar, who sponsored it, said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Continue reading "Illinois Passes Landmark Funding Bill Creating Tax Credit Scholarship, Sending More Money to Poor Schools" from The 74. 

"On Third Try, Illinois House Approves Education Funding Bill" from The Chicago Tribune

on Tuesday, 29 August 2017.

Following some twists and turns, the Illinois House on Monday narrowly approved a historic overhaul of the way the state funds schools, a key step toward freeing up money for classrooms that also sets the stage for a Chicago Public Schools property tax hike.

The measure, which passed with two votes to spare, heads to the Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday. Gov. Bruce Rauner has vowed to sign the bill "quickly," and Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the plan as providing "parity and stability for children across Illinois."

The day was not without drama, however, primarily due to Democratic opposition to a Republican-backed $75 million tax credit program for private school tuition. Teachers unions had spent the weekend lobbying against the plan, and afterward the Chicago Teachers Union called it an "assault" on public education.

Still, the agreement was hailed as an example of what can happen when Democrats and Republicans work together instead of ripping each another apart.

Continue reading "On Third Try, Illinois House Approves Education Funding Bill" from The Chicago Tribune. 

"Do Traditional Public Schools Benefit from Charter Competition?" from The Washington Post

on Monday, 28 August 2017.

The late Gerald Bracey, once called “America’s most acerbic educational psychologist,” spent most of his time calling out bad education research and data, trying to explain that things did not always mean what the author said they did and that numbers were too often wrongly interpreted. He wrote a book about it, titled “Reading Educational Research: How to avoid getting snookered,” in which he was given that “acerbic” title by my Washington Post colleague Jay Mathews in the book’s foreward.

The book came out in 2006, but the issue remains as important as ever. Today, hardly a day goes by without yet another research study on some aspect of education being released, often with news releases topped with a headline declaring that something definitive has been found and the proof is finally here. Except too often it isn’t.

Continue reading "Do Traditional Public Schools Benefit from Charter Competition?" from The Washington Post.

Senior Policy Advisor Nicole Garnett Featured on

on Wednesday, 23 August 2017.

Nicole Garnett

Nicole Garnett, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, co-author of Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America, and Senior Policy Advisor for the Alliance for Catholic Education, was featured on Time. com. 

The article, titled "How Faith-Based and Private Schools Can Help Chicago Youth" was published on August 22, 2017 and details how an Illinois tax credit scholarship program could have a dramatic impact on Chicago families by allowing students to attend a school of their choice. 


"Keep the Federal Government Out of School Choice" from The Washington Post

on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.

School choice has many benefits. It frees people to select the type of education that will best serve their families. It makes educators accountable to the people they are supposed to work for. And study after study proves it typically leads to improved academic outcomes. But despite these advantages, that does not mean the federal government should push choice in a nationwide program. The dangers may be too great.

The Trump administration has made clear that it wants to support school choice. In his February address to Congress, the president called education “the civil rights issue of our time,” and he has pledged to direct $20 billion to advance choice. He also picked school choice stalwart Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.

Trump deserves credit for seeing the need to weaken a government monopoly, let parents choose the best education for their unique children and leave educators free to teach as they see fit. But there is great risk in federalizing choice: He who pays the piper calls the tune, and federal control could ultimately impose the same regulations on once-independent schools that have stifled public institutions.

Continue reading "Keep the Federal Government Out of School Choice" from The Washington Post.