Schools Aware of Competition

The Johnson Sun offers high praise to the Shawnee Mission schools. In a roundabout way, it acknowledges the power of competition:

[Superintendent Marjorie Kaplan’s] thinking then was that the bond issue was needed for renovation and new construction as a way to prepare for additional students. The objective was to have updated facilities that would persuade families to remain in the district and to attract more from outside.

Give Kaplan credit for being aware of her market. But notice the phrase “remain in the district.” For most people, exercising school choice means having to move to a new district. That’s thousands of dollars in real estate fees and moving expenses, not to mention substantial costs in time simply in getting ready for and dealing with the results of a move.

Why not recognize the value of competition and expand choice through explicit means, such as a real law for charter schools or vouchers?

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