October 04, 2012
are a source of debate between public and private schools nationwide, but nowhere is the debate more acutely felt than in the state of Indiana. Indiana is home to one of the largest voucher programs in the country
, and many are waiting to see whether this program delivers on all of its promises. Vouchers are also a major point of contention in places like Wisconsin and Louisiana, where schools are fighting for students and parents are waiting to see if the benefits of school choice will come to fruition. Do vouchers really improve the quality of education for all students?
With inconclusive test results, the jury appears to still be out. However, that doesn’t change the intensity with which both sides are fighting for the type of education system they believe is best.
Competition Heats Up in Indiana
The Indiana voucher system is getting bigger this year, and public schools across the state are feeling the heat. Fox News
reports that the new voucher system first passed the Indiana legislature in 2011, and the hundreds of students that left public schools for private pastures last year could turn into thousands of students this year. Public schools are turning to advertising, as well as door-to-door campaigning, to keep kids in their neighborhood schools – and funding in the public school system.
Currently, more than 8,000 students in Indiana have applied for the voucher program for the upcoming school year. There is room for as many as 15,000...read more
February 25, 2012
A proposal to give state funding directly to high school students, rather than public schools, continues to be hashed out by Utah lawmakers. The bill would take per-pupil funding and put it into a savings account for the individual student, rather than sending it directly to the local school district. This money could then be used by the student to pay for public or charter school
, online classes
, or even courses at the college level
. Like other bills touting school choice
, this proposal has been met with strong opinions on both sides of the aisle.
The new bill, dubbed HB123, is a proposal that would put money into the hands of students and their parents, rather than the school system. The bill was originally introduced by Republican state Representative John Dougall, according to the Huffington Post. Dougall believes that his bill would offer a number of advantages to Utah high school students, including the creation of more competition between schools, which could raise the bar on the quality of education in the state overall.
“Today what we have is top down funding and we know many of the challenges that come with top down funding,” Dougall told the Huffington Post
. “HB123 is what I call grassroots funding where we fund the student rather than institutions.”
Dougall estimates that the current funding amount students would expect to receive from the state would be approximately $6,400 per student, per year, based on current funding amounts. Instead of going...read more
October 15, 2011
There are few topics as fiercely debated in the world of education today as school choice and voucher programs
. The subject becomes particularly prevalent in areas where public schools are not making the grade, but has also been seen in districts where the public schools are performing well. However, parents want more opportunities and choices for their children. No matter what side of the fence a parent or educator might be on, chances are the emotions surrounding this topic run high. We’ll take a closer look at the school choice idea, including the history of the programs and the pros and cons that make this issue one of the hot-button subjects around the country.
Which School to Choose?
One reason school choice has become a major point of contention is due to the fact that there are many options in education today. Districts offer a wide range of school types, and parents are faced with choices that they may not have had just a few decades earlier. Some of the schools seen in communities today include:
Neighborhood Public Schools
Public schools are funded by the government, so they must follow certain guidelines set forth by state regulators. These schools are free to all children to attend, and the proximity to homes in the neighborhood makes them easy for children to attend. Schools are typically assigned by district zoning regulations, although some districts allow students to attend another public school outside their immediate neighborhood if there is sufficient space in the school for...read more
September 10, 2011
have become a hot topic of debate at school districts across the country, but Indiana is one of the first states to truly see firsthand how a voucher program can impact the scope of public and private school. This state is home to the most expansive voucher program in the nation, with more than 250 religious or private schools currently approved for the program. While more than 3,000 students statewide are expected to reap the benefits of the Indiana voucher program this year, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of taking tax dollars out of public schools to fund private education
. With two sides to this hot-button issue, we’ll explore the full realm of state voucher programs, including how this particular program is changing the face of public and private education in Indiana.
Details of the Voucher Program
According to a recent report at U.S. Catholic
, the Indiana voucher program passed the state legislature in the spring of this year, and since that time, around 250 private and religious schools have been approved by the state to participate in the program. This means that approved schools can admit students on scholarship, based on the family’s income levels. Scholarship money comes from the tax dollars that would normally be spend on public schooling. The equivalent of the per-pupil tax dollars goes directly to the family to be used to pay tuition and fees at the approved private school of the family’s choice, rather than going into...
June 30, 2011
School choice has been an ongoing debate in districts across the country, but one Colorado district has been getting plenty of attention on this subject of late. Douglas County, located in the southern part of the Denver metro area, has unanimously approved a voucher program
that provides state funding to parents who want to enroll their children in private schools
. The measure was approved by the Douglas County school
board in March of this year, but the fight is just beginning over the constitutionality of such a move. We’ll take a look at both sides of this potentially explosive issue to determine whether the use of taxpayer dollars to fund private schooling should be allowed under the law.
The History of the Voucher Program
The “Choice Scholarship” pilot program due to launch in Douglas County during the 2011-2012 school year was the brainchild of Milton and Rose Friedman. These two economists established the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation in 1996, with the purpose of advancing an education system based on free choice. This couple firmly believes that the most effective way to raise the bar on the quality of education in this country is to provide free choice to parents and students that promotes healthy competition with the educational framework.
The Friedmans state on their website
, “This foundation is the culmination of what has been one of our main interests for more than four decades: improvement in the quality of education available to children of all income...
Recent Public School Articles:
May 14, 2013
As graduation draws near, high school graduates are turning their sights to the next phase of their academic career. We provide some tips to help them choose the best college for now and for the future.
About Public Schools,
Evaluating Public Schools,
Parenting and Learning Issues,
Public School Policies,
Public School Jobs