Tag Archives: rules

Sneaky Anti-School Choice Empire Strikes Back at Milwaukee

When it comes to school choice, have no fear: if given a chance, the Empire will strike back. Most recently they have honed their targets on Milwaukee, the granddaddy of modern voucher programs. The threat looms large. As the editors of the Wall Street Journal explain, Wisconsin lawmakers have hit participating private schools with a double whammy: funding cuts (they already receive less than half as much per student as do traditional public schools) and new bureaucratic mandates. The best news that can be said, at least according to the Education Gadfly, is that the regulations could have been worse. Those nasty Wisconsin lawmakers must have figured that if it’s too risky to try to cut back vouchers outright, they might as well play around with the money and the rules. Very sneaky of them.

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Colorado, Don't Get Any Ideas about Virtual Education from Florida's SB 1676

I’m kind of leery about even writing this here, afraid it might give some Colorado lawmakers a bad idea. But consider it a note of caution. Apparently, the Florida legislature is trying to put the clamps down on the state’s successful online public school program. So writes Bill Tucker at The Quick & The Ed about SB 1676 and its impact on the Florida Virtual School: The bill would eliminate enrollment in any elective courses and funding for any courses beyond a standard six periods. Students would no longer have an option to take electives, including some AP courses, beyond those offered at their traditional schools (especially painful for small or rural schools), nor would they have the opportunity to take extra courses to catch up on graduation requirements or accelerate. The legislation was approved in committee and now goes to the full State Senate. As tempting as it might be, it’s a bad idea for Florida officials to use tough economic times as an excuse to limit educational options. As this AP news story highlights, it has a negative effect on real students: Kathryn Groves, a high school student from Keystone Heights, told the panel she took a virtual […]

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Frivolous Attacks on Pension Reform Draw Attention (For Me, Detention?)

Yesterday morning some of my Education Policy Center friends were down at the State Capitol (now, like me, they can hardly get out of their driveways… snow day!). They joined Dr. Michael Mannino, author of the Independence Institute report Deferred Retirement Compensation for Career K-12 Employees: Understanding the Need for Reform (PDF), for his informational presentation to the joint House and Senate Education Committee. New Ed News Colorado reporter Nancy Mitchell provided some colorful coverage of yesterday’s unusually well-attended proceedings (hey, I don’t even want to get out of bed at 7:30 AM): Rep. Michael Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, drew applause from a standing-room only crowd when he closely questioned Michael Mannino, a University of Colorado professor who helped write the report. “Is it possible that your phrases like drastic tax increases and meltdowns could be fear-mongering on your part … in support of your political agenda?” Merrifield asked, an apparent reference to the report’s sponsor, the Independence Institute, which bills itself as a “free market” think tank based in Golden. “Could it be that you’re making an assumption to support your personal views that teachers shouldn’t have a defined benefit plan?” Merrifield asked at another point. “I want people to […]

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Bromwell Elementary Issue Makes the Case for Expanding School Choice

The Denver Post‘s Jeremy Meyer reports today on the latest from the Bromwell Elementary controversy: Parents who skirted district rules to get their children into a high-performing Denver school must go through the choice process for next year, a school committee said. Bromwell Elementary’s collaborative school committee met Wednesday to decide what to do with students from outside of the neighborhood who did not follow the district’s enrollment procedures. In one instance, a family enrolled by using a grandparent’s address. The committee said students who failed to prove they live within school attendance boundaries must enroll through the district’s choice process, which operates on a blind lottery. Superintendent Tom Boasberg must approve the recommendation. First, let me say that Denver Public Schools appears to be fairly treating people who tried to cheat the system. It isn’t right when one of my friends tries to move my checkers when I’m not looking, and it isn’t right for people to pretend to live at a different address so they can enroll their child into a different school. But the conversation can’t end there.

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