Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Private money for schools?

The Wash Post editorial page likes the idea, waxing eloquent in its perpetual promotion of school "reform" by any means necessary:

Ms. Henderson's appointment will bring much-needed stabilization to the system. Many lower-ranking officials recruited by Ms. Rhee and attracted by the prospect of serious reform will feel comfortable staying on. Ms. Henderson also will be able to recruit strong new colleagues as needed and maintain the private financial support that Ms. Rhee managed to attract.

I wonder why this aspect of school "reform" hasn't attracted much notice. It seems like kind of a big feckin deal. The whole thing about the "public" part of public schools is the idea that the public funds them and has input on them. With, and how much, private funding of public schools, the public's influence over it's public schools is questionable.

The Post's editorialists have long weighed in against the supposed "pay for play" culture of neighboring Prince Georges County. But private funding of public schools carries its own brand of pay-for-play. The givers of private funds are presumably, and usually, more than a little casually interested in seeing those dollars implemented for certain, policy-specific reasons.

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