Choice is a luxury in the United States of America and so is education – or so we thought. I’d like to think that this statement is true but not when education comes in sometimes distasteful conditions. What are we providing to students that others are not getting? Is there an underlying issue here that needs to be confronted which has been driving the hot debate about Portland’s transfer policy?
Pertaining to the above article, there seems to be numerous pros and cons that need consideration. Firstly, Portland’s transfer policy offers parents the freedom of choice for where they wish to have their student attend school. This can be essential in making sure their kids are receiving the preferred education or focusing on a specific program that may not otherwise have been offered at the school in their district. What screams democracy more than this, right?
But when parents take their kids away from a school and transfer to another one, they’re also taking away the funds that help keep a school functioning. As discussed in our Senior Capstone class at Portland State, we have a “per-pupil” spending that follows a student wherever they go. As this may be viewed as a positive in the freedom it gives parents for transferring, what else can it mean for the school they leave behind?
Not only does the funding decrease in the school being transferred away from, there is less diversity as a result as well. As mentioned in the article, low-income families may not take advantage of “focus-option” programs because of their lack of transportation for students. Thus, families who can afford such a resource, may then use these focus-option programs to their benefit.