December 21, 2014

OUR VIEW: KCMO schools forced to experiment with school choice

As disastrous as the Kansas City, Mo. School District shuffle could be, good may come of it yet.
The district just across the river lost its accreditation New Year’s Day. A Missouri state statute stipulates that no child can be forced to attend an unaccredited school.
A flood of students is expected to flee to neighboring districts, and the KCMO district will have to pay the tuition and transportation of those students who decide to seek an education elsewhere.
Neighboring districts attempted to use the courts to build a temporary dam against the flood of anticipated students. A Jackson County Circuit judge refused to stop the anticipated transfers.
More legal wrangling is sure to ensue as suburban districts bar the doors as they’ve promised to do until certain financial and transportation parameters are determined.
In the meantime, more KCMO students will continue to suffer at the hands of an education bureaucracy that continues to provide a sub par education. For those students, it’s truly a catastrophe.
There is, however, a bright spot.
At some point, even the simplest of entrenched bureaucrats will recognize that the only way to save KCMO students is to allow state and local funds to follow the student. It will ensure competition in one of the country’s remaining monopolies – public education – and hopefully lead to better educated students.
In other states, the school choice trial balloon has already been raised to wild success.
Now that the Kansas City, Mo., district appears to have no choice but to forward their education dollars to wherever neighboring districts their students choose, the school choice program may lead to expansion of the program throughout Missouri. And if we’re lucky, Kansas leaders will watch Missouri’s success in the program and do something similar.
We can hope.

Comments

  1. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    I’m having trouble making sense of this opinion piece. It opens with KCMO schools forced to experiment with school choice (okay), then mentions a district just across the river (what district? across what river?), then neighboring districts (which districts?), then the KCMO district (already got that one, I think), then neighboring districts (more?) and finally, suburban districts (now I’m totally lost).

    Follow the students, follow the money? Sorry, I can’t even follow the story. That’s my opinion.

  2. ThePatriot says:

    This story is hard to follow. But I know one thing for sure. A quality public education system is a prerequisite for a competitive economy. Education is key to creative, winning ideas and innovation in science, arts and business. It is the driver of our economy. Every child, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth, has right to a quality and challenging education.

    Our education system ranks 26th overall in the world. I had an excellent education when our ranking was number 1. The generation that came before mine made sure of that. The generation in charge now is failing miserably.

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