Tags: Education | charter | schools

Calif. Gets a Lesson in School Choice

Monday, 22 June 2015 08:15 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The LA School Report says the waiting list for charter schools in California is at an all–time high, “More than 158,000 students are currently on waiting lists to get into charter schools in the state.” This is an increase of 67,000 over last year’s estimate of 91,000 on the waiting list.

One–size–fits–all government schools that are often run for the benefit of the teachers' unions and not the student are appealing to fewer and fewer California parents. And to give credit where credit is due, California has more charter schools than any other state in the nation and the Los Angeles school district, at 139,000, has more students in charters than any district, anywhere.

In only 10 years, Los Angeles charter school enrollment has exploded 356 percent. Compare that with the anguish New York City parents go through in the movie “Waiting for Superman” hoping their child will win the life lottery and be selected for a spot in the city’s limited number of charters.

California students are slowly — that’s why there’s a waiting list — being offered education options that put students first. But the state that is breaking new ground is Nevada. In the most recent legislative session The Washington Free Beacon reports that Republican state Sen. (and public school teacher!) Scott Hammond passed a bill that completely reverses school finance and puts the parents in the driver’s seat.

Instead of money going to the school district and parents fighting or moving to get in good schools, in Nevada money will follow the student. Every student in the state will receive approximately $5,000 each year to spend on education. “Students with special needs and students from low-income families will receive 100 percent of their share of state funding, while all other students will receive 90 percent.”

Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, commented, “The Nevada Education Savings Account law is an astounding victory in the move toward educational freedom.” Hammond’s bill brings competition to education.

Enlow described the new educational landscape, “students won’t be forced to attend just one school — assigned to them by their address — public schools will have to compete for their customers and will have to find creative ways to improve.”

Naturally teacher unions oppose this innovation calling it the “commodification” of education. But my response is if universities can compete for students, public schools can compete, too. Congratulations to Nevada and I hope California will follow the lead of the “Silver State.”

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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if universities can compete for students, public schools can compete, too. Congratulations to Nevada and I hope California will follow the lead of the Silver State.
Education, charter, schools
Monday, 22 June 2015 08:15 AM
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