Tag Archives: principles

Offering Ideas to Address Stapleton School Overcrowding Challenge

What to do if you’re a school district, you have a fast-growing neighborhood, and not enough tax revenue to meet the promises to build schools for the elementary and middle school kids in the area? Well, Denver Public Schools is confronting that problem right now in regards to the Stapleton neighborhood. A meeting with community members “to share a list of options about what to do about overcrowding” is scheduled for next Tuesday. While it’s hard to argue that this situation isn’t a sticky one, my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow nevertheless has written a new piece for Education News Colorado (also re-posted at the Independence Institute website), proposing some suggestions to help the district and citizens think outside the box a bit. Here’s the flavor:

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Wake Up, Colorado! Maybe We Ought to Fix the School Finance System First

By lobbying for an overhaul of tax-and-spending measures in the state constitution, the education establishment groups that came together to form Believe in a Better Colorado are barking up the wrong tree. Or at least they have put the cart before the horse. Pick your favorite overused cliche. Until we fix the way schools are funded, it’s a futile effort. That’s why my friends in the Education Policy Center recommend a careful look at Facing the Future: Financing Productive Schools from the Center for Reinventing Public Education. Co-authors include Paul Hill and Marguerite Roza, two of the sharpest minds to study the current school system and what could work better. Here is a key excerpt from the report explaining the problem: Overall, we have a system in which so much is controlled by decisions made in the past, sometimes for reasons and on behalf of people who are no longer in the system, and at such a distance from schools, that educators have scant flexibility to adapt to the needs of here and now. Teachers and principals, the people whose work the whole system is supposed to support, get complexity and constraint rather than help. In the meantime, the costs […]

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