Need to Keep Hope Alive? Choice Media TV Highlights Dougco Program

Yesterday I mentioned the banner news from Douglas County, where the pro-voucher slate of school board candidates prevailed in a high-turnout election. To help keep your spirits up, you simply have to watch this excellent 8-minute Choice Media TV video feature on school choice in Douglas County, and not just because it features my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow:

In the video, you may also recognize Highlands ranch mom Diana Oakley, whose son Nate received a Choice Scholarship and was featured in a July Independence Institute video. Also, interestingly, Dougco school board director Justin Williams — one of two board members who won re-election this week (the third race was an open seat won by pro-voucher Kevin Larsen) — was interviewed in the Choice Media TV piece.

Choice Media TV, you may ask, where have I heard that before? Wasn’t that famous filmmaker Bob Bowdon? You got it. Six weeks ago I told you how this venture fills a valuable niche in the education reform world. Now maybe you have seen some living proof of it.

The timing to share the important, groundbreaking news out of Douglas County is as important now as ever. The anti-choice injunction has been appealed, and school board president John Carson confidently states in the video that he likes the choice program’s chances of prevailing with the higher courts. You may remember at almost the exact same time as the Dougco injunction that an Indiana judge denied a similar request against that state’s new statewide Choice Scholarship Program.

Well, now today we learn that nearly 4,000 students have signed on for private school choice in Indiana, making it the largest-ever first-year voucher success. So even though it will take longer, keep up the faith. Sharing a theme DeGrow put forth in his Ed News Colorado analysis of Tuesday’s election results, one of Dougco’s school board winners stated an excellent point about the future with a local newspaper:

“(The school board is) going to have to pursue expanding choices for parents and a pay-for-performance system for our terrific teachers in our district … in a way that doesn’t require additional revenue,” [Craig] Richardson said. “I think we’re up to the task. I think this is the best board in the county that is able to innovate with scarce resources.”

Indeed. Challenging times lie ahead, but for the sake of educational opportunity and productivity, they can be exciting times, too.