- Those parents who are going to go out of their way to "work" the system and exert extra effort to get their kids into your school are statistically more likely to have better motivated students.That's the KIPP difference, the charter difference. Why not use it? Helping your AYP is nice.
- It's not like the kid is free-loading. You get the money for every kid who attends regularly and these kids are already going out of their way to get there, so they'll probably have better attendance.
- The kids are more likely to behave because calling the parents would expose the scam.
- District lines are very often arbitrary at best. Gerrymandering the lines doesn't make the bus ride shorter, the school better or the environment safer.
Besides, I never quite figured out why it was so important. We have to educate every kid somewhere and isn't it a compliment that family after family wants to be at YOUR school? I'd be rolling out the red carpet for kids who wanted to come and bragging about it if I could, but maybe that's the private school experience coming out of me.
How do I square this with my stand against vouchers? Because it is a switch between public schools. Most often, vouchers are touted as a transfer of funds from the public school system to a private school and that's the part I don't like.
I can be a member of the local school board (actually have been). I can pick up the phone and directly effect what is going on at the public school in my town. Even as a private citizen, I can walk into the principal's office and ask a question directly - and get an answer (okay, yes, make an appointment and wait a little but you get what I mean). If I am calm, dispassionate, and right, the school will make a change to its policy because I am a taxpaying member of the town and the school is being run by the town for the benefit of any citizen who wishes to take advantage of it.
The Catholic Schools and the private schools won't do that. Why should they?
I do not have a problem with the public - public voucher system. It works well here in Vermont. I really have a problem when money goes to private institutions which don't follow the same testing and accountability requirements that the rest of the schools do.