Threats to Our Public Schools (Part 3)

Part 3:

School Choice

I would like to start off with the main school choices we have to offer in the state of Oregon; public schools, private schools, and charter schools. When breaking these very different schools systems down, they all have their own good and bad qualities to them especially when they’re compared to one another. But besides their downfalls and positive aspects this offers a very important thing, school choice. Beyond the fact that almost everyone thinks they’re automatically stuck into the public school systems, if you really set your mind to finding other alternative, they may happen to be right there in front of you.

When school choice is considered, why do we think one school is better than another? Looking into the school systems, they all receive the same amount of money, minus the private schools of course. Some schools may seem like they have more money than others but, there is actually something called equalized funding which helps ensure that the schools are getting the same amount from the state. But, I look at this issue from a small school perspective to where the large school districts dictate the funding because of their political control. For example, if the Portland or Beaverton school districts are hurting and need more money, that’s the only time when the other schools around get the help they need. We need to realize that there are a lot smaller schools in Oregon with 800 or less students than the larger schools. Would taking back local control help both small and large schools?

Besides the money, what about the main concerns of parents that want to ensure that their child is getting the right kind of education. I truly believe that if the parents think their child is in the wrong school, then they should have the right to transfer them or at least be given the option to. Do people think that charter and private schools are taking away from our public schools? On this subject, I have to agree and disagree. I think the charter and public schools are there for relief of the struggling public schools. But it also takes away the money they’d be given if the kids went to the public school instead of the other alternatives. Privatization may take the control away from the community and take the rights away from the people, which don’t help the community comet together to fix the problems. Also, with the other options such as a charter school, how important do we all think certified teachers are? I think this is all personal opinion but that may change parent’s minds about switching their child into a charter school based on that one important fact.

What does everyone else think about the alternatives, are they hurting or helping the public school systems for our youth?

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