A Portland delegation saw what real education reform looks like on a recent visit to the Big Easy.
The demand for school choice is growing. The Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland has a ten-year history of demonstrating the value of a small grant program in providing a “hand up” to grade school kids from low-to-moderate-income families.
The Portland Public School Board recently denied all four requests from charter school applicants who wanted to offer more options for Portland children in the 2008-09 school year.
The Willamette Week described the meeting this way:
“Charter schools got no love Monday night from Portland Public Schools’ Board of Education. The board unanimously rejected four new charter applications in a two-hour smackdown that
The polling data is trending toward school choice. As more and more parents experience choice through charter schools, vouchers, tax credits and the like, the idea of educational freedom becomes less scary, more real and urgently rational.
In 1999 local Oregon donors pledged one million dollars to begin the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland. This program, unique in Oregon, enables children from low- income families to attend the K-12 schools their parents think are best for them. Local donations are matched by the national Children’s Scholarship Fund, which has helped over 86,000 children nationwide get a hand-up in life through education.
For nine school years CSF-Portland has proven that
Last summer the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation released a study entitled “Disruptive Behavior: An Empirical Evaluation of School Misconduct and Market Accountability.” Researchers examined the cases of employee misconduct in both public and private schools in the 12 states that have school choice policies.
Some opponents of school choice argue that private schools are not as “accountable” as public schools because they are not subject to all the same regulations as public schools.
This is not true.
One third of the legislature supported the Freedom to Choose My School Grant bill in the first year that we attempted to lobby at the state capitol. A number of others expressed off-the-record interest in our attempts to bring more choices to low-income and minority parents in Portland. Few bills get this kind of support during their first legislative session.
House Education Committee votes on our school choice proposal
On Friday, May 11, 2007 supporters of House Bill 3010 convinced the House Education Committee to vote on the issue of giving low-income minority parents a choice in their child’s education.
Using a procedural motion, we attempted to amend HB 3010 into a Senate bill (SB 334A) being considered by the Committee. Both School Choice Working Group board member Esther Hinson and I testified on the amendment.
We reminded committee members that drop-out and reading failure rates continue at alarming rates within
Last week the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation released a landmark study showing that the twelve school choice programs currently operating around the country have saved state and local budgets a net of $444 million dollars since 1990.
“School choice saves,” said Robert Enlow, executive director of the Friedman Foundation. “It saves children, and now we have empirical evidence that it saves money. In the face of $444 million in savings, another excuse to deny children a quality education has vanished before our eyes.”
Critics of school choice often claim that
The mix of traditional school closures, charter school openings, and transfers out of neighborhood schools in Portland is prompting some serious debate about school choice. The district has now surveyed transferring students and found that very few did so because they were dissatisfied with their neighborhood schools. Many simply wanted other choices, like special programs not offered close to home.
But is Portland’s relatively liberal transfer policy undermining some