Charter Advocates Mount Opposition to DeVos Private School Agenda
Dozens of charter school supporters have condemned the push for private school funding in Trump's fiscal 2018 budget blueprint
Charter school advocates are increasingly pushing back against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ private school choice agenda.
The latest comes from Denver school Superintendent Tom Boasberg, who rebuffed remarks made by the secretary Wednesday about the city’s lack of private school choice options.
“We do not support private school vouchers,” Boasberg said in a statement. “We believe that public dollars should be used for public schools that are open to all kids, whether they are district-run or charter.”
Denver ranked No. 1 in the Brooking Institute’s 2016 Education Choice and Competition Index, earning points for being an open-school district, meaning students are not zoned to a specific school based on where they live and can enroll in any school they choose, traditional public or charter. It also scored points for its easily accessible web site that explains to parents how the enrollment process works.
Denver does not operate a private school voucher program or a scholarship tax credit program that allows students to use public dollars to cover tuition at private schools. DeVos, who was the keynote speaker at the Brookings event to unveil the annual choice index, argued that because private school choice options are not part of the city’s education portfolio, its students are getting shortchanged.
“The benefits of making options accessible are canceled out when you don’t have a full menu of options,” she said. “Choice without accessibility doesn’t matter – just like accessibility without choice doesn’t matter. Neither scenario ultimately benefits students.”
Boasberg countered: “A core principle in Denver and one of the main reasons we rank No. 1 nationally in school choice is that we ensure equitable systems of enrollment among district-run and charter schools, where all schools play by the same enrollment rules and all schools are subject to the same rigorous accountability system. We do not support choice without accountability.”
Indeed, accountability is driving a wedge between charter school advocates who can get behind the free-market approach to private school choice and those who cannot – and Charter Advocates Mount Opposition to DeVos Private School Agenda | Education News | US News: