Education Success Is Possible, If Rhode Island Will Allow It

Two quick suggestions for anyone reading today’s Jennifer D. Jordan‘s Projo article on Rhode Island’s tax credit scholarship program…

Amelia Kah struggled through her freshman year of high school in the Providence school system. She was teased and mocked by classmates when she raised her hand in class, and was even beaten up a few times, she says….Her parents, Genesis and Zoe Kah, refugees from the civil war in Liberia, worried their daughter would not fulfill her potential. They began hunting around for other schools. But with seven children at home and limited finances, their options were limited.
Then friends told the Kahs about St. Raphael Academy, a Catholic high school in Pawtucket, and a new state scholarship program for low-income students that could help the family send Amelia there.
Last fall, Amelia was accepted to St. Raphael for her sophomore year, aided by the Rhode Island Scholarship Alliance, a tax-credit scholarship program supported by Governor Carcieri and passed by the General Assembly three years ago.
Amelia was one of 278 students last year to receive the tax-credit scholarships in the program’s first year. The average scholarship ranges between $3,000 and $5,000, and the scholarships are available to families who earn 250 percent or less of the federal poverty level, defined in 2007 as a yearly income of $51,625 or less for a family of four.
Suggestion #1: Read it in conjunction with this Wall Street Journal op-ed, also from today, on what’s being done with charter schools in Los Angeles…
This month the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), a charter school network in Los Angeles, announced plans to expand the number of public charter schools in the city’s South Central section, which includes some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the country. Over the next four years, the number of ICEF charters will grow to 35 from 13. Eventually, the schools will enroll one in four students in the community, including more than half of the high school students….
ICEF has been operating since 1994, and its flagship school has now graduated two classes, with 100% of the students accepted to college. By contrast, a state study released in July reported that one in three students in the L.A. public school system — including 42% of black students — quits before graduating, a number that has grown by 80% in the past five years.
Suggestion #2: Ignore the utter inanity in the Projo article about the ability to effectively evaluate the tax-credit scholarship program somehow depending on the creation of a “funding formula“.

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15 years ago

It is long overdue for us to have seperation of School and State. Give each parent with a legal SS number (no taxpayer ID’s) $11,000 a year per child. Increase that for a COLA every year. This will cut education spending by 25% and get the kids out of the hands of the atheist, pedophile-infested (don’t censor this-just google the words ‘teacher sentenced’ and see how many hits you get!), Soviet-style “public” schools.

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