Tuesday, September 17, 2002

School Choice Crackdown

Via Education Intelligence Agency

Baltimore County Makes Latest Attempt to Snuff Out Black Market in School Choice.

Several times in the past, EIA has reported on the phenomenon of parents lying about their place of residence in order to place their children in better public schools, and the extraordinary efforts of school district officials to halt the practice. The latest to join the crackdown is the Baltimore County schools in Maryland.

Some principals in the district estimate that as many as 5 to 10 percent of their students are ineligible to attend their schools. Most of these students come from the city of Baltimore, which has the same problems associated with most inner-city school districts. Baltimore County parents made it clear they don't want those students in their school system. "When you allow that to happen, you allow those behaviors to come in -- negative behaviors," community activist Ella White Campbell told the Baltimore Sun.

Superintendent Joe A. Hairston vowed to put 35 staffers to work on the problem. The task force would check student records, pay visits to listed county residences, and examine tax rolls to confirm residency claims.

Isn't Baltimore also breaking the law by not implementing the public school choice provision of the No Child Left Behind Act. Parents with children stuck in failing schools were suppossed to be able to transfer their kids to better performing public schools. Baltimore has made only a few transfers available to thousands of eligible kids. Where's the crackdown?

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