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NEWSWIRE: September 16, 2014

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Vol. 16, No. 36

EQUITY TAKES NEW YORK. Five family plaintiffs, along with the Northeast Charter Schools Network, have taken necessary steps to fight for an equitable funding structure that does not shortchange public charter school students. Reminiscent of when families in the District of Columbia put their foot down in July by filing suit, these plaintiffs from Buffalo and Rochester are taking similar action to make sure their kids have access to the resources they need for success. Currently, charter schools in Buffalo receive approximately $13,700 in per-pupil funding compared to $23,524 for traditional schools, meaning a charter student is valued at a mere three-fifths of their traditional school counterparts! This is hugely unacceptable, especially when charter schools have proven track records of success with already underserved students.

BASKET WEAVING BARRICADE. Like any other parent, New Jersey resident Matt just wants what’s best for his high school son, who is particularly interested in computer science. However, this interest is being stifled by an elective requirement that has pushed Matt’s son into what is essentially a basket weaving class instead of something more comp-sci oriented. There’s something to be said about art classes fostering well-rounded students, but kids should be able access course alternatives useful in their personal path towards college and career readiness. Unfortunately, the ability for parents to have fundamental power over their child’s education in New Jersey is severely limited, with the Garden State earning 31st place on CER’s Parent Power Index.

FINANCIAL FANTASIES. In response to an Education Week piece riddled with misleading information, reform advocate John ‘Tiny’ McLaughlin sharply rebuts financial myths that continue to buttress opposition of choice programs in defense of a system. Choice opponents tend to view per-pupil funding as a fabrication, and advocate rather perversely that money shouldn’t follow students to fund their education. This of course unsustainably excludes our nation’s schools from having to adapt to population changes and demand, something with which the rest of society has to contend. Moreover, studies continue to show choice programs being much more efficient with taxpayer dollars while helping with student growth. Lastly, the concept of choice is not some policy concoction but an innate idea that has materialized in response to parental demand, something that’s definitely worth fighting for.

PHILLY SCHOOL CHOICE. Choice Media is spearheading an effort to call attention to the widespread support among Philadelphia parents for educational choice programs. Click here to watch parental testimonials and sign up for updates on the push to give parents more of a voice in the direction of Philly schools.