Scholarships offer chance to keep school students safe

BY VICKI E. ALGER Published: December 1, 2012
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Scholarships would match the state per-pupil funding at students' current public schools. If parents opted to send their children to less expensive schools, the savings would revert to the state general fund — leaving more money for programs to help all schools become safer. An SOS program would fulfill No Child Left Behind's stated goal that “All students will be educated in learning environments that are safe, drug-free, and conducive to learning.” Such a program would also have numerous advantages over the current PDS mandate.

Rather than stigmatizing schools with a PDS label, parents could act to keep their children safe now, not years from now. Parents would also have more safe school options by not being limited to public schools within their children's current districts — schools that might not have room to accommodate transfers. And, instead of costing states and schools more money, an SOS program could help bring costs down.

Empowered parents, not ineffective mandates, are a better way to keep children safe at school.

Alger is a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum in Washington