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Alternative Education Models and Funding Mechanisms

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Ed Week Marketbrief, 4/21/17

K-12 schools could save billions by sharing ed-tech prices, report says

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.

Arizona Central, 4/20/17

Arizona is expanding its school-voucher program. What does it mean for parents?

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.

Education Week, 4/4/17

Course choice: A different way to expand school choice?

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.

CT News Junkie , 3/15/17

Op-Ed: Setting the record straight on a special education co-op

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.

American Enterprise Institute, 3/10/17

A diversified approach to federal investment in school choice in a bull market

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.

Las Vegas Sun, 2/28/17

What’s next for Education Savings Accounts in Nevada?

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.