More choice for low-income parents shouldn’t be limited to charter schools

redefinED staff

John Kirtley, chairman of Step Up for Students and one of the hosts here at redefinED, offered some thoughts on parental choice and parental empowerment over at Fordham’s Board’s Eye View blog today. Here’s a taste:

Parents must be truly empowered, however. They can’t just be empowered to choose charters, as some reformers believe. In most states, there is a surprisingly large inventory of private schools that are already serving low-income children. In some of these places there are few charters—sometimes (but not always) because the district is slow to authorize them. In Duval County, Florida, for instance, the district has only thirteen charters despite its large size (over 150,000 students). And not all of them serve low-income children. By contrast, there are over 100 private schools in the county that serve low-income children under the state’s tax credit scholarship program.

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