Another Model of School Financing

The Ethan Allen Institute, a Vermont-focused organization, has published a rather interesting proposal for redoing the way that state “does” schooling. In brief, it’s a school-focused and child-focused approach that breaks away from the district-centered approach the state currently uses.

The report is titled “Better Value, Fewer Taxpayer Dollars,” and you can download it (PDF) here. Among its proposals:

  • Replace funding to districts with certificates of tuition given to families, who can redeem them at any school. This amount would be based on regional cost differences of existing public schools. If a school charges less than the value of the certificate, the student can keep the money in an account to be used only for further educational expenses (such as college tuition or tutoring.)
  • Writing a charter school law (Vermont does not have one) so that groups of people and communities can restart schooling, free of many of the current state mandates.
  • Make greater use of virtual schooling.
  • Give tax credits for donations to student tuition organizations, which in turn help families pay for the cost of education.
  • Retain the state government’s role in funding and overseeing the needs of special-education students.
  • Retain the state’s role in overseeing safety and health regulations governing schools.
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