Parents, especially low-income parents, have a right to be confused about how President Obama really feels about education, especially when it comes to educational choices.
During the much-publicized hunt for a proper school for the Obama children, local public schools were clearly not even remotely considered to be adequate. Instead, an exclusive-and very costly-private school was selected to meet the educational needs of the first family. Subsequently, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made sure his own children had the pick of the best schools, stating that their education was too important to jeopardize with a bad educational environment.
Now the confusion starts. Continue reading
Posted in POLICY
Tagged Arne Duncan, Barack Obama, DC School Choice, education, educational choice, Equality of Opportunity, NEA, POLICY, President Obama, School Choice, South Carolina public schools, tax credits, Unions, US Secretary of Education, Washington DC
Real K-12 educational options are one step closer to becoming law in South Carolina.
Legislation that will extend school choice options to middle- and low-income families through personal and corporate tax credits moved out of subcommittee today.
As the State Newspaper reports:
A bill that would give parents who send their children to private school or who homeschool their children tax breaks of up to $2,400 a year has passed a Senate education panel.
The bill will head to the full Senate Education Committee next, and if it passes there would go before the full Senate.
For more than five years, school-choice advocates have been fighting for the state to provide some assistance to private school parents. And some private schools say the assistance will help them, as parents in a down economy would be able to better afford tuition.
Dozens of parents with home-schooled and special-needs children packed the hearing room, along with independent school educators and other education activists.
At one point members of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms security detail even came in to threaten the eager parents who voiced their praise and approval for Senator Davis (R-Beaufort). In response to comments made by Senator Matthews about the lack of capacity in private schools, Senator Davis noted that private schools, unlike the one-size-fits-all public school establishment, would eagerly respond to parents and expand their capacity as more options for families were made available. Continue reading
Posted in POLICY
Tagged Education Opportunity Act, H.3802, K-12 education subcommittee, Larry Grooms, Robert Ford, S.520, School Choice, tax credits, Tom Davis, Wes Hayes, What "The Voice" is All About
While House Members are on furlough, the South Carolina State Senate is in Columbia this week.
Here is a brief update on some of the important K-12 education legislation they are considering:
o S. 694, approving regulations for the State Department of Education relating to standards for review of Charter School Applications, designated as Regulation Document Number 4026, received first reading and was referred to the Education Committee.
o S. 695, providing that the South Carolina Charter School District shall distribute 200% of the current year’s base student cost to Charter Schools, received first reading and was referred to the Education Committee.
o S. 696, relating to the required advertisement of the results of a school’s report card in a local newspaper, to allow the required advertisement to be waived if an audited newspaper of general circulation in a school district’s geographic are has previously published the entire school report card results as a news item, received first reading and was referred to the Education Committee.
o S. 520, the Education Opportunity Act that provides tax credits for parents who homeschool or send their children to private schools and establishes a framework for non-profit scholarship granting organizations serving low-income students, will be reviewed by the K-12 subcommittee of the Education Committee on Thursday April 23rd. The public hearing will be held in Room 308, of the Gressette Building in the Statehouse Complex.
UPDATE: S. 694, approving regulations for the State Department of Education relating to standards for review of Charter School Applications, designated as Regulation Document Number 4026, has received second reading (4/15).
Posted in POLICY
Tagged Charter Schools, charters, Education Opportunity Act, Educational Opportunity Act, S. 696, S.520, S.694, S.695, School Choice, School Report Cards, Senate, tax credits
What do all these things have in common? They are all myths.
Tax credits won’t help families. Scholarships won’t help families. Public schools will be cast aside and underfunded. Private schools will quickly become quasi-government institutions.
This is what The Spartanburg Herald Journal predicts will happen if South Carolina lawmakers adopt the SC Education Opportunity Act. The only disasters left out of the Spartanburg paper’s apocalyptic, post-school choice scenario are outright Communist invasion and the Thunderdome.
A quick glance at the thriving school choice programs in other states show these panicked speculations to be just as ludicrous as they sound.
Let’s consider a few of the Herald-Journal’s claims: Continue reading
Great commentary published in the Orange County Register on January 22, 2009. The author is Adam B. Schaeffer, Ph.D
Schaeffer points to over $400 million in possible savings from School Choice in South Carolina:
School Choice Works for Tight Times
The economy’s on the skids and perhaps still heading toward a cliff. State budgets are in the hole after years of unsustainable increases, and a lot of states are talking about program cuts and tax increases.
We are all in desperate need of practical policies that save money. And there just happens to be a reform that can save huge amounts from education, the biggest expense in state and local budgets: school choice.
A large-scale education tax credit can help get us through these lean times without tax increases, and it’s the financial argument that will get a major choice program passed. Continue reading