In his latest Sunday column, the Denver Post‘s Vincent Carroll cites remarks from Ben DeGrow about the need for more substantive changes in Senate Bill 213, a proposal by Colorado senator Michael Johnston to modify the school finance formula.
Carroll notes that SB 213’s adoption is tied to voters approving a billion-dollar tax increase on this fall’s ballot, but the Education Policy Center’s senior policy analyst questioned the extent of reform being offered to voters in exchange for more tax dollars:
Johnston rightly trumpets the fact that this special-needs money will follow students rather than go to district HQs. But Ben DeGrow of the Independence Institute asks why still more money couldn’t “follow all students to the schools and even courses (digital technology) they choose, outside of school district control”? Talk about empowering choice!
Other states, DeGrow notes, such as Minnesota and Utah, have begun to experiment with such customized, student-driven education.
The proposed policy changes and accompanying costs of SB 213, as described to Carroll by the bill sponsor, are very much subject to change as the legislative process resumes this week.
To learn more about the policy changes Ben’s remarks suggest, watch his 10-minute presentation on course choice funding at a December 2012 panel event, and read his earlier issue paper titled Online Course-Level Funding: Toward Colorado Secondary Self-Blended Learning Options.