Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just Attach the Funding to the Student

There is a big protest going on in Chicago that first involved hundreds of Chicago Public School students peacefully gathering on the campus of a very nice suburban public school and is now going to involve students sitting in the lobbies of big corporations in downtown Chicago. The goal of the protest is to even out the discrepancy in per-pupil funding in Illinois:
At issue is how much money schools spend per student. In a funding system largely fueled by local property taxes, New Trier Township spent nearly $17,000 per student in 2005-06 and Sunset Ridge spent about $16,000, while Chicago Public Schools spent an estimated $10,400 per student.

The leaders of the protest seem to want to change the system so that all schools in the state get the same amount of per-pupil funding. This would be better than the current system, but imagine all the bureaucracy needed to work this out.

A much simpler, more elegant solution is to just attach the funding to the student and let the student and their parents decide where to go to school. This is how they do it in Sweden.

No comments: