Earlier this month, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed that unaccredited public school districts must provide for the educational costs of a student who wishes to transfer into a neighboring, accredited district. The Children’s Education Council of Missouri suggests that an orderly array of choices for parents in unaccredited districts may be the best way to serve these students while limiting the challenges or complications potentially faced by accredited districts who stand to receive an influx of new students.
I think as a practical matter, most people would like to see greater parental choice in education. And yet, there are plenty of folks with skin in the game, so to speak, and so we’ve got to look at the politics of this as well.
While the case will undergo further review, it seems to have the potential to change the dynamics for suburban school supporters in regards to their position on school choice issues. It wouldn’t however, seem to change much for the broader public education political establishment, which tends to react to any manner of choice as a threat to its position. For that reason, it will be interesting to see if this issue could cause something of a rift between the former (suburban school supporters) and the latter (the larger education bureaucracy).
If such a rift developed over this issue, would it be enough to lessen the cohesion of a large and unified public education system bureaucracy that has succesffully fought against greater school choice in Missouri? I don’t know – but for the sake every child who deserves a better academic education than they now recieve, I hope so.