President Bush's "Pell Grants for Kids" proposal was dead on arrival but may nonetheless have a positive impact. Education Week reports that Illinois Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel "is developing a plan that would allow parents of children attending low-performing schools to enroll their children in a charter school-or any other public school-and the federal government would supplement the budget of that school." Emanuel's plan even has the same name as the president's. It ain't perfect, of course. Sister Dale McDonald of the National Catholic Educational Association called it a "stimulus package for charter schools" that does nothing for struggling private institutions. But even on its best day, when the sun is shining and the cherry blossoms blooming, the current Congress won't allow federal funds to flow to parochial schools. Emanuel's plan targets the same disadvantaged youngsters that the president's proposal would and it offers them expanded educational options. Charter schools, which currently receive only 78 percent of the money regular public schools do, would also get a financial boost. Gadfly is eager to learn the specifics. Consider his interest piqued.

"Key Democrat's Plan Would Boost Charter Schools," Education Week, David J. Hoff, March 13, 2008

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