U.S. schools could save at least $3 billion a year on educational technology by sharing information about how much they pay for hardware and software, according to estimates in a new study by the nonprofit Technology for Education Consortium. Discrepancies between the highest and lowest prices districts pay for the same hardware and software product can range between 20 percent and 40 percent, the researchers found.
The Arizona Legislature has passed one of the most expansive school-voucher programs in the nation. The program gives public funds to students to use on private-school tuition, therapies and other educational services. Republican lawmakers narrowly approved the plan, which allows an estimated 30,000 students to take part in the program by 2022.
The small Connecticut town, just south of the Massachusetts border, is in its fifth year under a system that asks students to master specific skills in every subject.
At the beginning of this school year, the state put $4,125 in an online account for her and every other Idaho seventh- through 12th-grader to spend on any academic boost they think they need to be better prepared for college.
Under the law, parents who withdraw their children from public school can use their child’s share of state education funding to pay for private school tuition, home-schooling costs, tutoring and online education, as well as for therapies for the disabled.
States can choose to set aside 3 percent of their Title I money under the “direct student services” provision of ESSA for course choice, among other programs. States could also potentially use Title IV block grants authorized (but not yet funded) for states to provide well-rounded educational programs and school improvement programs under Title I to boost course choice.
A system of managed competition, with varying designs in different types of locations, can provide the accountability, accessibility, transparency, coordination, and enforcement necessary to make this very unusual market work for all children.
The Special Education Predictable Cost Cooperative (the Co-op) is a special education finance system that allows the state and local governments to share in special education costs. Our organization, the Connecticut School Finance Project, in partnership with the University of Connecticut’s Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research and Neag School of Education, developed the model to help increase stability and predictability in special education funding for school districts, while ensuring decisions in service delivery and identification remain local.
This year, the bear market looks to be turning, and with Trump’s promise of a $20 billion investment in school choice, the school choice bulls are ready to run. However, any good investment advisor will advise diversifying because going big on any one push can end in disaster. The question for advocates should not be how to make fast gains on a $20 billion investment in school choice, but how to structure that investment to pay off in the long run.
The program, the first of its kind nationwide to be passed that doesn’t limit applicants based on income, would deposit upward of $5,100 in state education funds into a bank account to be used by approved families for private school tuition, tutoring and other expenses. The program was put on hold last year after the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that ESA funding couldn’t come from the state school budget, but supporters are hoping to resolve lingering issues and revive it.