From today's Daily News Record in Harrisonburg...The Time For School Choice Has Come
By Katreena Crookshanks
Del. Chris Saxman’s announcement
that a coalition of concerned citizens is forming School Choice Virginia provides the chance to examine why school choice is an option Virginians ought to have.
There are two principal reasons: one is money, the other the right of parents to educate children as they see fit.
According to the Virginia Department of Education’s report: Keister, Spotswood, Stone Spring and Waterman elementary schools did not make the Adequate Yearly Progress required under No Child Left Behind. Thomas Harrison failed to make the AYP for the third year in a row.
Consequently, the Harrisonburg City School District did not meet the AYP goals. The Harrisonburg City School District had six schools, with 4,528 students for the 2007-2008 school year.
According to the same Virginia Department of Education report, Rockingham County School District (with 20 schools and 11,850 students) met their AYP goals for 2007-2008
. Harrisonburg City Schools’ approved budget for 2008-2009 is $60.3 million, about $10 million per school. The Rockingham County Schools budget for 2008-2009 is $164 million, about $8.2 million per school. Harrisonburg plans to spend nearly $2 million more per school.
If additional funding equates to increased performance, as some logic dictates, Harrisonburg City Schools should outperform Rockingham County Schools. And wasn’t passage of the lottery bill years ago supposed to ease school budget funding? Obviously more money, the mantra from the National Education Association and state and local school boards, is not working. When will “more money” be enough?For the rest of the op/ed, click here.