There are some very interesting–and very hopeful–developments going on regarding school choice in Douglas County, Colorado. Dan Mitchell–whom I had the pleasure of meeting last night–provides the details, courtesy of the Denver Post:
Douglas County School District officials say an unexpected level of interest in a retreat exploring school choice today and Saturday is forcing them to add an overflow room and a video feed to allow the public to watch the discussion.
The school board is investigating a voucher program that would allow students to use public money to help with tuition at approved religious schools and other private ones.
As Mitchell notes in explaining the program further:
. . . I’m told that parents will have a voucher for about $4,500 per child that can be used to finance tuition at any qualifying school. This is more than enough money to cover costs at most non-government schools, and the population is sufficiently large to make this program a dramatic test case.
Following up, Dan makes clear the significance of the proposal:
I generally focus on fiscal policy and I love low tax rates, so when I say that what happens on school choice in Douglas County, Colorado, may be more important to the future of the nation than what happens with Obama’s plan for higher tax rates next year, that should give you an idea of the critical importance of this education battle.
Indeed. Here’s hoping that the Douglas County plan is allowed to proceed without political interference. Positive change in the formulation and implementation of education policy cannot come soon enough.