Tag Archives: inequity

Arne Duncan & Feds Spending Freely, Doing Little for Real School Reform

Yesterday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan came to town. The good news is he visited two of Denver’s autonomy schools: Bruce Randolph and Montclair. The Education Secretary certainly is saying the right things about how this approach can grow: “The business we should be in is scaling up what works as quickly as possible,” Duncan said. “Let’s take those lessons, let’s replicate them and move on absolutely as fast as we can with a sense of urgency. We have to get dramatically better as a country, and we need to do it as fast as we can.” The $5 billion pot of “Race to the Top” innovation money is supposed to fulfill this purpose. As pointed out by Swifty Charlie and Flypaper’s Mike Petrilli, the reality is that “Race to the Top” is the only part of the federal stimulus funds that has even a legitimate shot at advancing school reform. Colorado may make some modest strides with the innovation dollars, but it very well could be outweighed by the much greater opportunity and resources wasted.

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Colorado Charters Have Chance at Fair Share of Local Construction Funds

Last year it was a big issue to see many Denver area public charter schools get significantly shortchanged in bond election requests for more facilities money. It has come to light that charter schools across Colorado receive less than 2 percent of school construction bond money, even though they educate about 7 percent of the total public school enrollment. Why shouldn’t they be treated more fairly? Enter state senator Nancy Spence, R-Centennial, a perennial champion for school choice and educational opportunity. She introduced Senate Bill 176 (PDF) in the state legislature to address the inequity. The bill would require school districts to consult with charter schools about their facilities needs before holding a bond election, and would require school districts to include those needs in the election request “unless the district and charter school agree otherwise.”

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