“Perhaps the most striking result in the paper is that, for the average church running a voucher-accepting school in the data, vouchers provide more revenue than any other source.”
The district’s school population will continue to grow as new apartment units come on line and other projects are built, charter school officials say. “Given the impact of the significant influx of new students into local schools, this expansion request is ideally timed to assist the district in addressing these new needs at a lower cost. Even if one were to accept the district’s claims to the contrary, it cannot be credibly concluded that this phenomenon will cause devastating financial harm to the PPS district,” reads the letter.
The tax-credit structure is especially significant when considering what could happen under DeVos in the Trump administration, because it could be a way to promote school choice on a federal level without writing big checks. “There isn’t that much money that is fungible from the federal education budget,” points out Samuel Abrams, an expert in education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Connecticut is one of seven states where high-poverty districts have fewer teachers per student than better-off districts, and the state is in 44th place for how competitive the salary of a 25-year-old teacher is in an impoverished district, the Rutgers Graduate School of Education reported last week. Research prepared for the school funding trial showed mixed results on whether more money helps lead to better student outcomes, and Connecticut has had a long line of task forces study and recommend changes for state education aid.
The state would have to spend an additional $1.86 billion over the next three years to offset inflation and cuts that have ravaged education funding since the Great Recession, according to the Florida School Finance Council, which advises the state commissioner of education. “School revenue is back to where it was in 2007, (but) does anybody believe costs are the same?” asked Malcolm Thomas, superintendent of the Escambia County SchoolDistrict. “I think where we’re feeling the pinch now is just the operational costs to really support and educate your kids.”
The proposed legislation would require districts across the state adhere to national best practices in authorizing charter schools, said Elizabeth Fiveash, assistant commissioner of policy and legislative affairs. The bill would also allow districts to require a fee from charters based on how many charter schools operate within a district. School boards can levy a 1-3 percent fee of the annual per student state and local allocations depending on how many schools are within the district.
Scott’s bill — the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Individuals and Communities through Education Act, or CHOICE Act — is a three-pronged approach to devoting more federal funding to voucher programs for children to attend the private schools and, in some cases, the public schools of their choice.
In at least 35 urban school districts with significant numbers of charter schools, efforts are under way to jointly improve instruction, align policies, address inequities, or garner efficiencies. About a dozen of these districts are using cooperation, also commonly referred to as district–charter collaboration, to drive decisions and address systemic challenges, including tracking school performance, student enrollment, and school closure. The report includes recommendations for district and charter leaders, State Education Agencies, and funders to better support the often difficult, politically divisive work of cooperation.
A new teacher’s pension is supposed to be a perk. The truth is that for the majority of the nation’s new teachers, what they can anticipate in retirement benefits will be worth less than what they contributed to the system while they were in the classroom, even if they stay for decades.
Today nearly 30 states have vouchers or some closely related form of private school choice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. What follows is an overview of the big trends, research data, and concerns associated with school vouchers. Links to additional resources are included for those who would like to dig deeper.