Monday, October 16, 2006
END SEGREGATION IN OMAHA:
NOT WITH THE 'LEARNING COMMUNITY,'
BUT A KINDER, SIMPLER, CHEAPER WAY: SCHOOL CHOICE
The whole reason behind the Legislature's craftsmanship of a mega-large, metro-area "learning community" for public school districts in the Omaha area is to try to beat back the "Robin Hood" lawsuit of the Omaha Public Schools, attempting to show that there aren't "adequate" resources in OPS because OPS residents are poorer than in the 'burbs.
The "learning community" is being sold as a way to end racial segregation in metro-area schools, which is a good goal, as far as it goes. Of course, racial minorities would much, much, MUCH rather have their children reading, writing and figuring on grade level or better than simply sitting next to a white kid.
So here's a way to have it all, that would be far cheaper, far better, and far less destructive of OPS' neighboring public-school districts:
School choice. When parents can choose their child's school, segregation begins to ebb away. In two cities with voucher programs, the private schools are now 20% LESS segregated than the public schools. Read it for yourself, and imagine how much better Omaha's reputation would be if we did this, instead of creating a "white" district, a "black" district and a "brown" district under Sen. Ernie Chambers' plan:
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