CONSIDERING NONTRADITIONAL ALTERNATIVES - CHARTERS, PRIVATE CONTRACTS, AND VOUCHERS

Authors
Citation
Je. Koppich, CONSIDERING NONTRADITIONAL ALTERNATIVES - CHARTERS, PRIVATE CONTRACTS, AND VOUCHERS, The Future of children, 7(3), 1997, pp. 96-111
Citations number
29
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Journal title
ISSN journal
1054-8289
Volume
7
Issue
3
Year of publication
1997
Pages
96 - 111
Database
ISI
SICI code
1054-8289(1997)7:3<96:CNA-CP>2.0.ZU;2-L
Abstract
Charter schools, vouchers, and contracts with private agencies providi ng educational services all reflect the belief that a substantial part of educational budgeting, decision making, and accountability should be based at the level of individual schools, rather than at the school district level. Though states are moving quickly to set up charter sc hools, and some states and districts are debating the merits of vouche rs or experimenting with private contracts, in fact there is little in formation about the educational effectiveness of these innovations. Ch arter schools face substantial challenges in financing and business op erations; many state charter school laws provide no start-up or capita l funds and only limited operational funds. In addition, many charter school laws are vague on key questions of authority and school-distric t relations. Contracting with private agencies presents a wide range o f options, many of which have been tried in only a few locations. The most publicized contracts with private agencies to run multiple school s have included some highly visible disappointments and no clear succe sses as yet, though experience is too limited to draw conclusions abou t contracting in general. Vouchers that may be used at private schools are extremely controversial for several reasons. Because private scho ols can decide which students they will accept, opponents are concerne d that extensive use of vouchers may dramatically change the compositi on of the public school student body. It is also unclear whether vouch ers to religious schools (which comprise 82% of all private schools in the United States) violate the constitutional requirement for separat ion of church and state.