Republicans gathering this week in Moscow should reaffirm their support for school choice. Idaho’s families and children have benefited from the expansion of school options, they like them, and they want more of them.Because of Republican leadership in the Legislature, in the governor’s office and in the State Department of Education over the last two decades, family choices today encompass not only decisions by parents to live in a certain neighborhood because of the quality of public schools, but private schools, public charter schools, home schooling, magnet schools, alternative schools and on-line learning through both virtual schools and hybrid models blending classroom and online instruction.
The numbers tell the tale. More than 19,500 children attended one of the state’s charter schools in 2013-14 (6.5 percent of all K-12 Idaho students). The number of students in Idaho charters have more than doubled since 2006-07. Despite this growth, the state’s top charter schools still have significant waiting lists. This has been evidenced in recent weeks by the number of charters that have had to hold lotteries for the 2014-15 year. Nothing depresses a charter school leader more than telling a family that the lottery for their school didn’t bounce their way. Read more. Terry Ryan IdahoEdNews
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