King of choice

One of Denver's big
suburban school systems, the Douglas County School District (DCSD), added a
hammer to its toolbelt of school-choice options yesterday, when the board
unanimously voted to pilot a district-wide voucher program in the upcoming
school year. The program will offer 500 students $4,575 each to attend one of a
score of eligible area private schools (including religious schools)—with an
apparent expectation of growing it after this pilot year. The price tag: Free.
In fact, by DCSD calculations, the program will save the district money,
because each voucher will be for less than it would cost the district to
educate these kids in-house. Considering how rapidly Douglas County has been
growing, and the cost of expanding and staffing district schools to serve this
burgeoning enrollment, we may have here an illuminating example of how “going
private” is cheaper, pleasing to those who want to choose their schools,
and—maybe—provides a better education. Stand by, as this is certain to be
interesting.

Douglas County school board
unanimously OKs voucher plan to help pay for private school tuition
,” by
Karen Auge, Denver Post, March 16, 2011.

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