Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trump School Choice Proposals Drive Wedge Between Charter School Advocates

Excerpt from the U.S. News & World Report article by Lauren Camera:

The Trump administration's plan to ax $9 billion in federal education spending but direct millions to a new program that would help students afford private school exposed a fissure among charter school advocates, one not publicly acknowledged but privately widening at an increasingly fast pace since the election.

In reacting to the fiscal 2018 blueprint, organizations that support charter schools split: Some admonished the administration for its proposed education cuts, as well as billions in cuts to health care and wraparound social service programs on which the country's most disadvantaged students rely. Others touted the increases for school choice policies, which, in addition to a $250 million private school choice program, included $168 million more for charter schools and a $1 billion boost in Title I for poor students whose states allow them to use the money to enroll at any public school of their choice.


The White House has yet to unveil any details of its $250 million private school choice proposal, or how the proposed $1 billion in increase Title I funding would be doled out to states willing to expand their school choice offerings. DeVos said Monday that those details are still being debated.

When those policies are solidified, the battle lines between the school choice organizations will likely become even more obvious.

“The question will be: Where is the division between public and private here?” says Robin Lake, the director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education. “A lot of charters serve kids who are immigrants or who live in inner cities and the politics of this are going to get interesting for sure.”

“When push comes to shove I think charters will always side with the public school community,” she says. “They are public schools.”


Read the full article.