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States leaving feds behind on school reforms
Vouchers, tax credits enable parents’ choice
If the per-child cost at a charter or other alternative school is lower than the price at a traditional school, the leftover money can enable cash-strapped states to reduce costs. But cost shouldn’t be the only factor, warns Bob Tate, a senior policy analyst at the National Education Association.
“It’s impossible to make apples-to-apples comparisons” between traditional and charter schools, he said. “If a school is not feeding kids … it’s less expensive, but many parents would consider that a significant drawback.”
Mr. Tate said some charter schools, for example, may not provide English as a Second Language courses, or may not offer effective programs for students with disabilities. Such programs, he said, drive up budgets at public schools. Parents pulling their children out of traditional schools, in some cases, drains money for more-expensive but necessary programs, according to Mr. Tate.
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About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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