School Choice Battle Rages On
Allover this country there are battles being fought over school funding.
Manyparents want to take that tax money to a school of their ownchoosing.
Thisis "National School Choice Week".
Sothose who favor that process are out campaigning nationwide.
Wespoke with the President of that group by satellite, from a tour stop,in Topeka, KS.
AndrewCampanella says it makes sense to have schools compete and there area lot of ways to set-up the choices.
Some policies offer open enrollment at a list of publicschools, butit varies widely from state to state.
Someparents can also choose from charter, magnet or private schools.
Hesays the key, is for parents select the best choice for their child.
Themoney can be moved around in various ways.
Thestates can deliver vouchers to the schools, or tax credits can takethe form of backpack funding.
Thecash follows the child, to whatever school they attend.
Campanellasays Oklahoma's scholarship program for handicapped kids, allows themto take their funding to the schools that offer the best specialeducation classes.
ButUnfortunately it was held up by public school challenges.
Hesays it's encouraging that the courts seem to be backing schoolchoice.
The U.S.Supreme Court has ruled that public funds are legal in privateschools, but there are still legal issue to be resolved state tostate.
Campanellasays choice improves public schools, because the great ones draw kidsand the others schools want to improve.
Healso says education isn't about buildings, it's about the kids.
"Ifwe can keep the focus on parents and children, andwhat's good for them, we can win."
Campanellaalso says many studies show, that school choice works.
Whenmany inner-city kids in Washington D.C. were given choices, thegraduation rate climbed to 91%.
That's30% higher than the school they left behind.