Opinion & Analysis

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Oregon school attendance bill could backfire

A bill that would tie school funding to attendance, not enrollment, is well-intentioned, but it runs the risk of penalizing school districts for circumstances beyond their control. It follows the familiar pattern of state-ordered requirements without funding to implement them.

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Community schools and nonprofits could work and live together

What if we focused on developing integrated approaches in which schools and nonprofits not only shared space, but also shared expertise, planning, decision-making power, successes and failures? There is an opportunity to offer more to children by aligning operations and service delivery to save resources for organizations and communities.

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Shortchanging our schools

Although Kentucky school boards are allowed to raise property tax rates enough to produce 4 percent more revenue each year without being subject to recall by voters, fewer districts have done so since the 2007-08 school year, according to an analysis of state data.

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Utah Legislature should look to keep school board elections nonpartisan

Utah's Senate has passed a bill injecting partisan politics into elections for the state school board and for school boards in large districts. Attempts to turn state and local school board races into partisan contests are solutions looking for a problem, and they would create far too many new problems of their own.

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Stop bickering over standards and fund schools

Recent proposals gloss over the fact that Arizona's education system is already underfunded when compared to the rest of the nation. If Arizona funded an equivalent of the national average per pupil, its classroom percentage would far exceed the 61 percent goal set by the governor.

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Vouchers increase public, private school gap

With voucher enrollment growing dramatically, it’s worth considering how long the public school system can remain in place. At the same time lawmakers are preparing to shift dollars from public schools serving students from poverty to wealthier school districts, they also are preparing to steer millions more to private schools.

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Student suspension has a role in keeping order

The attention being focused on suspensions is legitimate. Yet, at the same time, a school’s primary obligation is to maintain a positive learning environment. That means disciplining, and sometimes removing, an unruly youth. No one said keeping order was easy.

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Funding needed for non-classroom spending

Between the governor's budget and policymakers' statements, one would think Arizona public school districts are flunking money management. They cite percentages of budgets not spent in the classroom, usually accompanied by intimations that non-classroom funding is superfluous. Non-classroom spending does not mean nonessential spending.

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Georgia should extend flexibility to all schools

If turning around struggling schools starts with flexibility, why doesn't the state extend flexibility to all schools? At the same time the General Assembly touts school-based autonomy, it also attempts to micromanage schools, passing laws that control how much schools spend in the classroom.

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K12, higher education worlds must collide to improve student outcomes

Too often legislators and educators worry more about K12 versus higher education competition for education funding than about how to combine resources to make significant improvements.

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