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new research reverses negative findings about school vouchers


despite the efforts of education secretary betsy devos and president trump, school choice has been on the defensive. outlets like the new york times, national public radio, and the atlantichave all given attention to a series of new studies that purport to show that students in voucher programs in washington dc, indiana, louisiana, and ohio were actually falling behind their public-school counterparts. these recent studies stand out from the preponderance of the evidence from other programs, which have found positive, or at minimum null, results.however, new evidence released in this month on voucher programs in louisiana and indiana is establishing a pattern that should restore faith in advocates in the academic benefits of choice. increasingly, it seems that choice students may undergo a






3 indiana schools lose bid to enroll more voucher students


indianapolis (ap) — three private schools lost their bids wednesday to accept additional students who receive vouchers under indiana’s school choice program, the first test of a new state law granting underperforming schools a second chance at avoiding penalties.indiana has one of the nation’s largest programs allowing parents to use public funds to send their children to faith-based or independent schools, with more than 34,000 students in 313 schools currently receiving vouchers, according to the state department of education. state officials have a formula that grades voucher-accepting schools, and those that perform poorly can face consequences — including a ban on accepting new voucher students until the school improves.a measure gov. eric holcomb signed into law less than two weeks a






4 indiana schools win reprieve to add voucher students


indianapolis (ap) — four underperforming private schools won approval wednesday to accept more students who receive vouchers under indiana’s school choice program, benefiting from a new law that provides a second chance at avoiding penalties.the state board of education voted 6-2 wednesday to grant the four waivers. three of the schools didn’t receive enough votes to win approval last month, and the fourth was being considered for the first time.indiana has one of the nation’s largest programs allowing parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to faith-based or independent schools, with more than 34,000 students in 313 schools receiving vouchers this past school year, according to the state department of education.under the state’s voucher law, private schools that receive state






voucher schools climb to nearly 300 in wisconsin


madison, wis. — the number of private schools in wisconsin registered to get tuition subsidies has increased significantly since the state legislature approved a statewide voucher program four years ago.gov. scott walker's latest budget proposal shows the program, funded by taxpayers, has grown to nearly 300 private schools across the state enrolling about 34,000 students this fall.walker's budget estimates the state's voucher programs are expected to cost about $263 million in 2017-2018.vouchers are tuition subsidies paid with tax dollars that help children attend private schools, the majority of which are religious. the journal sentinel (http://bit.ly/2nmit3o ) says the annual voucher payments will rise to about $7,500 per elementary school student and roughly $8,000 for high school stud






failing voucher schools would get reprieve under indiana house bill


indiana's appetite for its extensive school voucher program isn't waning.a leap in state funding for indiana's choice scholarship program led to a surge in enrollment increases statewide and in northwest indiana private schools last year.spending for the voucher program, which began in 2011,...






school vouchers can sometimes have negative effects on student outcomes


as we wait to see exactly how president trump will try to fulfill his campaign promise to create a nationwide school voucher program , kevin carey has provided  some key context in a piece in the new york times. carey, who directs the education policy program at the think tank new america, writes that the origins of school vouchers can be traced to a single 1955 essay by economist milton friedman. friedman suggested the idea of offering vouchers to help pay for private schools, as long as those schools that got public money met "certain minimum standards." most programs, carey says, have relied on standardized testing to show that they do. but several recent studies, based on test scores, of how students fare in voucher programs have "found that vouchers hurt student learning," carey says.






education secretary betsy devos is getting some very bad news about her favorite


a raft of recent studies about school vouchers couldn’t have come at a worse time for our new secretary of education, betsy devos.that's because the studies report devastatingly bad results for students in those voucher programs. and they've been flowing into public forums just as devos, a leading advocate of school vouchers, takes charge of federal education policy. devos's patron, president trump, proposed during his campaign to shovel $20 billion to the states to support magnet and charter schools in voucher programs.voucher programs give parents public funds to spend on approved private schools for their kids. the idea is to give children in underperforming schools an escape route to a better education, while providing competition that hopefully will goad those poorer schools into impr






education secretary betsy devos is getting some very bad news about her favorite


a raft of recent studies about school vouchers couldn’t have come at a worse time for our new secretary of education betsy devos.that's because the studies report devastatingly bad results for students in those voucher programs. and they've been flowing into public forums just as devos, a leading advocate of school vouchers, takes charge of federal education policy. devos's patron, president trump, proposed during his campaign to shovel $20 billion to the states to support magnet and charter schools in voucher programs.voucher programs give parents public funds to spend on approved private schools for their kids. the idea is to give children in underperforming schools an escape route to a better education, while providing competition that hopefully will goad those poorer schools into impro






more than 300 schools to participate in voucher program


madison, wis. — more than 300 private schools have signed up to participate in one of wisconsin's three voucher programs next school year.state department of public instruction officials said tuesday that 163 schools registered to participate in the statewide program by the jan. 10 deadline, including 11 schools that had previously participated in the milwaukee or racine voucher programs and 31 first-time applicant schools.dpi officials said 127 schools registered to participate in the milwaukee voucher program, including five new schools and one school currently participating in the racine program.twenty-three schools registered to participate in the racine program, including four new schools. one of those schools is currently in the statewide program.






new memo shows higher private school voucher payments


madison, wis. — taxpayer-funded payments to children choosing to attend private schools using a voucher will increase an estimated $217 per-student in each of the next two years.and those payments will continue to exceed per-student state aid for wisconsin's public schools.new estimates were prepared by the nonpartisan legislative fiscal bureau and released monday by democrats opposed to the voucher program.the fiscal bureau numbers show that the average voucher payment for a k-8 student next year will be $7,540 and $8,186 for a high school student. that compares with $6,703 in per-student state aid sent to public schools.school choice advocates responded by noting that public schools also benefit from local property tax revenue, which combined with state aid topped $10,300 per-student thi






what california's schools chief wants you to know about trump's budget proposal


the day after president trump unveiled a budget that would cut money from california's schools, state supt. of public instruction tom torlakson promised to fight back.“this proposal takes us backward, jeopardizing california’s progress," he said in a statement. then, he listed how the budget could affect california's schools:after-school programs that help 825,000 students in the state with fitness, nutrition and homework could lose $132 milliona program for training educators could lose $241 milliona nationwide voucher program goes against the wishes of the california voters, who twice rejected voucher planstorlakson is going to washington, d.c., next week to lobby against the proposed changes.






special ed school vouchers may come with hidden costs – like giving up rights


for many parents with disabled children in public school systems, the lure of the private school voucher is strong.vouchers for special needs students have been endorsed by the trump administration, and they are often heavily promoted by state education departments and by private schools, which rely on them for tuition dollars. so for families that feel as if they are sinking amid academic struggles and behavioral meltdowns, they may seem like a life raft. and often they are.but there's a catch. by accepting the vouchers, families may be unknowingly giving up their rights to the very help they were hoping to gain. the government is still footing the bill, but when students use vouchers to get into private school, they lose most of the protections of the federal individuals with disabilitie






fitzgerald says lifting lids on vouchers not dead


madison, wis. — republican senate majority leader scott fitzgerald says lifting enrollment caps on private schools in the statewide voucher program is not dead even though gov. scott walker didn't propose it in his budget.fitzgerald said thursday at a luncheon sponsored by wispolitics.com that lifting the caps will "absolutely" be a part of the discussion as the legislature works on rewriting the governor's budget.fitzgerald says he doesn't know what the governor didn't loosen or eliminate the caps. school choice advocates are pushing for the caps to go away so more students can enroll in the statewide voucher program more quickly.






assembly to vote on voucher school background checks


madison, wis. — the state assembly is expected to pass a bill that would require wisconsin private voucher schools to conduct employee background checks.the bipartisan proposal up for a vote wednesday also includes a number of other mostly technical changes for voucher schools. that includes eliminating academic benchmarks the schools must currently meet. the state department of public instruction supports that change because the schools would still be subject to state report cards.no groups have registered against the measure, which the senate passed last week.approval by the assembly would send the bill to gov. scott walker.






betsy devos squirms when asked if she’d send her kids to failing charter school


president donald trump’s secretary of education betsy devos appeared on wednesday before a house appropriations subcommittee to testify on behalf on trump’s new budget proposal, which makes drastic cuts to public education funding and diverts “critical resources” to for-profit and religious charter schools.rep. mark pocan (d-wi) asked devos if she would consider sending her own children to an underperforming charter school. citing wisconsin’s “failed experiment in taxpayer-funded voucher schemes and for-profit charters.” students in ohio, indiana and washington, d.c. received charter school vouchers only to see their test scores drop, pocan said. he cited a number of milwaukee journal articles that showed charter school and voucher students performed the same or lower than public school st






more than 240 schools to participate in voucher program


madison, wis. — wisconsin education officials say 241 private schools have signed up to participate in at least one of wisconsin's three voucher programs next school year.state department of public instruction officials said tuesday that 163 schools registered to participate in the statewide program by the jan. 10 deadline, including 11 schools that had previously participated in the milwaukee or racine voucher programs and 31 first-time applicant schools.dpi officials said 127 schools registered to participate in the milwaukee voucher program, including five new schools and one school currently participating in the racine program.twenty-three schools registered to participate in the racine program, including four new schools. one of those schools is currently in the statewide program.some






devos represents all that is wrong with charter movement


as the nomination of betsy devos to lead the u.s. department of education slogs its way through the legislative vetting process, it is clear that she represents all that is wrong with the charter/voucher movement. devos is woefully unqualified and unprepared to lead the education department. devos has no direct experience at any level of public education. her only true experience is using her family wealth to influence legislation aimed at expanding and protecting charter and voucher schools in michigan and across the country. she brings the flaws of the charter/voucher movement into clear focus.first are the incessant false claims that public education is failing and ineffective. the alternative facts presented are that u.s. education does not measure up to education in other nations. not






essential education: about 125 act tests get lost in l.a.


what exactly would a federal school voucher program look like, and would it fund schools that discriminate against students based on their gender, religion, race or sexual orientation?that question was a major flash point — once again — on  tuesday as senators in an appropriations subcommittee questioned u.s. secretary of education betsy devos.sen. patty murray (d-wash.) asked devos if any voucher program would follow anti-discrimination laws.devos repeated, at least six times over the course of the hearing, that any school accepting federal money would have to follow federal law. but some senators were dissatisfied with this answer.sen. jeff merkley (d-ore.) had a heated back-and-forth with devos over the question. "where law is unsettled, this department will not be issuing decrees," dev






betsy devos is 'peripherally aware' that people don't like her


what exactly would a federal school voucher program look like, and would it fund schools that discriminate against students based on their gender, religion, race or sexual orientation?that question was a major flash point — once again — on  tuesday as senators in an appropriations subcommittee questioned u.s. secretary of education betsy devos.sen. patty murray (d-wash.) asked devos if any voucher program would follow anti-discrimination laws.devos repeated, at least six times over the course of the hearing, that any school accepting federal money would have to follow federal law. but some senators were dissatisfied with this answer.sen. jeff merkley (d-ore.) had a heated back-and-forth with devos over the question. "where law is unsettled, this department will not be issuing decrees," dev






minneapolis explores financial incentives for landlords who rent to section 8 te


minneapolis landlords who have been hesitant to rent to section 8 voucher holders may soon have a financial incentive to change their tune.city officials are looking at creating a pool of money, in collaboration with the minneapolis public housing authority (mpha), to help pay damage claims in units rented by voucher holders."the idea really is to create an incentive for landlords to want to participate," minneapolis housing director andrea brennan said at a meeting wednesday with the mpha board.though there's no proof that voucher holders do more damage to rental units than non-voucher holders, brennan said, some landlords cite it as a reason for not participating in the section 8 program.the pool would become available when a claim exceeds the tenant's security deposit, and cover repairs






the latest: devos weighs in on supreme court church decision


washington — the latest on the supreme court ruling for a missouri church (all times local):1:15 p.m.education secretary betsy devos is praising a supreme court decision that found the state of missouri violated the first amendment by denying public money to a church for a playground solely because of its religious status.devos says the ruling makes clear that "programs designed to help students will no longer be discriminated against by the government based solely on religious affiliation."devos is a strong proponent of school voucher programs, which use public money to help low-income students attend private schools, including religious ones. some critics argue using public money for religious school tuition is a violation of the constitution's separation of church and state.the educatio






essential education: betsy devos questioned by the senate


what exactly would a federal school voucher program look like, and would it fund schools that discriminate against students based on their gender, religion, race or sexual orientation?that question was a major flash point — once again — on  tuesday as senators in an appropriations subcommittee questioned u.s. secretary of education betsy devos.sen. patty murray (d-wash.) asked devos if any voucher program would follow anti-discrimination laws.devos repeated, at least six times over the course of the hearing, that any school accepting federal money would have to follow federal law. but some senators were dissatisfied with this answer.sen. jeff merkley (d-ore.) had a heated back-and-forth with devos over the question. "where law is unsettled, this department will not be issuing decrees," dev






essential education: nick melvoin's ideas for governing l.a. unified


what exactly would a federal school voucher program look like, and would it fund schools that discriminate against students based on their gender, religion, race or sexual orientation?that question was a major flash point — once again — on  tuesday as senators in an appropriations subcommittee questioned u.s. secretary of education betsy devos.sen. patty murray (d-wash.) asked devos if any voucher program would follow anti-discrimination laws.devos repeated, at least six times over the course of the hearing, that any school accepting federal money would have to follow federal law. but some senators were dissatisfied with this answer.sen. jeff merkley (d-ore.) had a heated back-and-forth with devos over the question. "where law is unsettled, this department will not be issuing decrees," dev






essential education: compton college receives initial accreditation


what exactly would a federal school voucher program look like, and would it fund schools that discriminate against students based on their gender, religion, race or sexual orientation?that question was a major flash point — once again — on  tuesday as senators in an appropriations subcommittee questioned u.s. secretary of education betsy devos.sen. patty murray (d-wash.) asked devos if any voucher program would follow anti-discrimination laws.devos repeated, at least six times over the course of the hearing, that any school accepting federal money would have to follow federal law. but some senators were dissatisfied with this answer.sen. jeff merkley (d-ore.) had a heated back-and-forth with devos over the question. "where law is unsettled, this department will not be issuing decrees," dev






arizona gov. doug ducey signs voucher bill


phoenix (ap) — republican arizona gov. doug ducey has signed a major school voucher expansion bill that will extend eligibility to all 1.1 million state schoolchildren despite vehement opposition from democrats who believe it will undercut public education and cost taxpayers untold millions of dollars.“when parents have more choices, kids win,” ducey tweeted after the house and senate barely passed the legislation thursday evening.republican backers call the measure a needed school choice expansion, but opponents argued it will benefit the wealthy, who they say will use state money to pay for private education they would fund anyway.the governor wrote: “arizona has been the nation’s leader in educational & parental choice for two decades. let’s keep it going, & help all arizona kids succee






trump asks congress to extend school choice nationwide


washington — president donald trump on wednesday asked congress to work with him on extending school choice programs nationwide to benefit millions of students, including low-income african-american and hispanic children.while trump gave no specifics on what legislation he is proposing, the statement was the clearest indication yet that he intends to follow through on his campaign promise to fund a $20 billion school choice program."during my campaign for president, i promised to fight for school choice," trump said. "very important."speaking at a white house event attended by about two dozen children, including some participating in a federally funded voucher program in the nation's capital, trump said, "every child has the right to fulfill their potential, and, if we do our jobs, then we






arizona gov. doug ducey signs voucher bill


phoenix — republican arizona gov. doug ducey has signed a major school voucher expansion bill that will extend eligibility to all 1.1 million state schoolchildren despite vehement opposition from democrats who believe it will undercut public education and cost taxpayers untold millions of dollars."when parents have more choices, kids win," ducey tweeted after the house and senate barely passed the legislation thursday evening.republican backers call the measure a needed school choice expansion, but opponents argued it will benefit the wealthy, who they say will use state money to pay for private education they would fund anyway.the governor wrote: "arizona has been the nation's leader in educational & parental choice for two decades. let's keep it going, & help all arizona kids succeed!"th






u.s. supreme court tells colorado court to reconsider 2015 school voucher ruling


backers of douglas county’s stalled school voucher program say it may have new life after a decision by the u.s. supreme court on tuesday.the justices said the colorado supreme court must reconsider its 2015 ruling that the douglas county voucher program was unconstitutional.“it’s our hope that a decision now by the colorado supreme court will allow us to put kids into the conversation about the best way to deliver the best education possible for them,” said meghann silverthorn, president of the douglas county school board.a monday decision by the nation’s highest court was also cheered by pro-voucher groups in colorado. the court held that churches could not be excluded from a state grant program for playground surfaces that was open to other charitable organizations.the policy was based






mpls. landlords, renters offer emotional testimony on section 8 ordinance


it was standing room only at minneapolis city hall on wednesday, as dozens of landlords, renters and other community members came before city council members to debate a proposed ordinance meant to prevent discrimination against section 8 voucher holders.the ordinance, which would prevent minneapolis landlords from refusing to rent to a tenant solely because they use a voucher, drew impassioned — and at times, tearful — testimony from both supporters and opponents during an hourslong public hearing.section 8 recipients talked about the excitement they felt when they got a voucher, only to find that many properties wouldn’t accept it. some said they found an apartment and then had to move when their landlords decided not to take vouchers anymore.linda soderstrom, who said she relies on a vo






supreme court orders new look at colorado voucher program


washington — the supreme court is ordering the top colorado state court to look again at a school voucher program that it had struck down as unconstitutional.the justices' action tuesday follows a ruling a day earlier that was cheered by religious rights groups. the court held that churches could not be excluded from a state grant program for playground surfaces that was open to other charitable organizations.the policy was based on a provision of the missouri constitution that prohibits public money from going to religious institutions. the high court ruled that the exclusion violated the first amendment rights of churches, at least when the money is meant for non-religious purposes.colorado has a similar constitutional provision that was the basis of the court ruling against the voucher






voucher schools would have to conduct background checks


madison, wis. — private schools participating in wisconsin's voucher school program would have to conduct employee background checks under a bill up for state senate approval.the bipartisan measure up for a vote wednesday includes a number of changes to the state's voucher program. it's supported both by advocates for school choice and the state department of public instruction. no one has registered against the measure, which makes mostly technical changes.the bill would do away with certain academic benchmarks that choice schools must currently meet, but dpi backs that change because the private schools are still subject to state report cards.it also changes numerous deadlines and application requirements that backers say will improve the administration of the program.the assembly was to






top 10 reasons huffpo doesn’t get school choice


steven singer of the huffington post would have you believe that when parents have more choices, they have fewer choices. that’s the long and short of a recent article, “top 10 reasons school choice is no choice,” which is basically a list of 10 bogus reasons for minimizing parents’ say in their children’s education. let’s take a look.claim 1: ‘voucher programs almost never provide students with full tuition.’singer claims vouchers would only be useful if they covered the entire tuition bill, and only give rich people discounts. that’s absurd for a number of reasons.first of all, rich people often do not have legal access to voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs. of the 47 voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs edchoice counts, 26 are only available to families under a certain i






trump's education adviser promotes private schools


washington — a senior presidential aide said wednesday that american families should have various school options for their children, including private schools.jason botel, donald trump's education adviser, told a national pta conference that some children may not thrive in traditional public or charter schools and should have an opportunity to attend private schools."we need an education landscape that offers high quality options to all students and parents," botel told the conference.botel, who has worked in both traditional public and charter schools, told the story of some of his students who were only able to succeed academically after going to private schools. "we are committed to ensuring that students and parents of all backgrounds for whom public school may not be the best option h






supreme court orders new look at colorado school voucher program – the denver po


washington — the supreme court is ordering the top colorado state court to look again at a school voucher program that it had struck down as unconstitutional.the justices’ action tuesday follows a ruling a day earlier that was cheered by religious rights groups. the court held that churches could not be excluded from a state grant program for playground surfaces that was open to other charitable organizations.the policy was based on a provision of the missouri constitution that prohibits public money from going to religious institutions. the high court ruled that the exclusion violated the first amendment rights of churches, at least when the money is meant for non-religious purposes.colorado has a similar constitutional provision that was the basis of the court ruling against the voucher






mpls. bars landlords from refusing tenants with government rent subsidies


minneapolis apartment listings with the words “no section 8” will soon be a thing of the past.the city council passed an ordinance unanimously friday that prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to section 8 voucher holders. landlords will still be able to screen applicants, but will have to give voucher holders the same consideration as other prospective tenants. if renters feel a landlord has refused them because of their voucher, the ordinance allows them to seek damages through the city department of civil rights.“we are continuing what is a long tradition in the state of minnesota and in the city of minneapolis of protecting public assistance recipients from discrimination,” said council member elizabeth glidden, who co-authored the ordinance with council members abdi warsame and li






school vouchers don't just undermine public schools, they undermine our democrac


president trump wants to siphon billions of dollars from public schools to fund private and religious school vouchers. it’s an idea that’s bad for kids, public education and our democracy.today, vouchers are used by less than 1% of the nation’s students. trump and his education secretary, betsy devos, want to change that. trump’s new budget proposal would make historic cuts to federal education spending, while diverting $1 billion into voucher programs — a “down payment” on his oft-repeated $20-billion voucher pledge. we believe the president’s plan would deal a terrible blow to public schools and to the 90% of america’s children who attend them, while doing almost nothing to benefit children who receive vouchers.although our organizations have sparred and disagreed over the years, such is






minneapolis explores financial incentives for landlords who rent to section 8 te


minneapolis landlords who have been hesitant to rent to section 8 voucher holders may soon have a financial incentive to change their tune.city officials are looking at creating a pool of money, in collaboration with the minneapolis public housing authority (mpha), to help pay damage claims in units rented by voucher holders.“the idea really is to create an incentive for landlords to want to participate,” minneapolis housing director andrea brennan said at a meeting wednesday with the mpha board.though there’s no proof that voucher holders do more damage to rental units than non-voucher holders, brennan said, some landlords cite it as a reason for not participating in the section 8 program.the pool would become available when a claim exceeds the tenant’s security deposit, and cover repairs






media do need to shut up and listen


top trump aide steve bannon took an interview with the new york times to deliver a message to the media. the full story is worth a read, but here’s the beginning:washington — just days after president trump spoke of a “running war’’ with the media, his chief white house strategist, stephen k. bannon, ratcheted up the attacks, arguing that news organizations had been ‘humiliated’ by the election outcome and repeatedly describing the media as ‘the opposition party’ of the current administration.‘the media should be embarr ed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,’ mr. bannon said in an interview on wednesday.‘i want you to quote this,’ mr. bannon added. ‘the media here is the opposition party. they don’t understand this country. they still do not understand why d