Advocates for Supplemental Education Services and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) are crying foul at the waivers that seem to take away parental choice. If a student attends a school that has been identified as failing, that student may no longer have the option of attending another school that is performing well. With Supplemental Tutoring becoming an option for school districts rather than a mandate, the question is – where is Parental Choice? Some have suggested that Parental Choice will exist in the growing Charter School Movement. With the exception of 10 states – Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia – many parents do have the option to remove their children from failing schools. On the surface, this fact would be enough to quiet the critics but further examination reveals that for many parents, there will be no choice at all. Many charter schools enroll students based on a lottery system. The NCLB allowed ALL eligible students (eligibility was determined by income) in failing schools, to either move to another school in the district or to have the option of tutoring as an intervention tool. Charter schools simply are not set up to accept all students who choose to attend. Financially, this “choice” is often a burden for the parents. Many charter schools can not offer transportation to and from school. This is as a result of a system that typically provides 80% of the funds provided to a traditional public school. If a parent is unable to provide transportation because they do not have the equipment or the means, then that parent has no choice at all. While many point to the flaws in NCLB, what the legislation did provide was a measure of economic equality – parents, irrespective of their financial limitations, were able to choose various intervention options for their student.
From the mind of S K Tilton
SES Finally Made Easy
SES Financially Made Easy
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