A think tank, the New York Foundation for Education Reform, recommended New York state explore school “open enrollment.”
“Open enrollment” is school choice on steroids. This group favors vouchers and charter schools, but it also suggests suburban schools take in city kids.
Monroe County has such a program in Urban Suburban. Seven suburban districts hold slots for students from the city. While this is a great program, it does little to address segregation and concentrated poverty. Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski once called the program “tokenism” because of the small numbers of students allowed to participate.
Studies show integrating schools lifts the performance of low-income students and does not disrupt the performance of high-income students. Yet no one – not even the governor – believes metro school districts will ever happen.
“Open enrollment” could more widely integrate schools. But the concept assumes suburban schools have the space. It also assumes suburban schools would throw open their doors to city students in larger numbers. I got this message from a parent whose child attends an Urban Suburban school:
I’m paying a metric #($*& ton of money for ____ schools. The teachers are excellent and the overall quality of the district is very high. I’m not willing to have my investment, if you will, be soured. Not for one second. This is my children’s education and my school taxes being played with. I welcome students from the RCSD with open arms, but if they disrupt my kid’s class, I have absolutely *no* hesitation to call the district and ask for their removal.
Many, many parents share this view. The way our schools are funded has a lot to do with this kind of thinking. If people are paying $7,000 a year in property taxes, it’s not hard to see why they don’t want to give “freebies” to outsiders.
Let’s think about this parent’s “investment.” This parent also pays a lot of tax dollars that go to the RCSD via the state. This parent pays a lot of tax dollars that go to welfare, Medicaid and the state prison system. God forbid this parents ever becomes a victim of a crime perpetrated by someone who dropped out of school.
We’re either in this together, or we’re not.
Links of the Day:
– A lawsuit has been filed against Time Warner Cable over the new modem rental fee.
– Will New York driver licenses go black and white?
– A Syracuse high school gives Muslim students a room to pray.
– This is not cool. The New York State Lottery planted a fake news story to solicit info about a fraudulent claim.