The Best Schools For Everyone!
An article in today’s Washington Post on the growth of the school age population underscores the brilliance of a decision this week by the Loudoun County School Board allowing parents to send their kids to any school within the Loudoun school system with openings even if it’s not in their district. That’s any school as long as it’s not at capacity (which is only about 50% of the schools). This is a great decision for several reasons:
- First and foremost, it holds school administrators accountable. Parents with kids in under-performing schools have a ticket out without having to move.
- It reduces boundary fights by lessening the consequences of being redistricted.
- It reduces the administrative expense of evaluating thousands of exception applications, not to mention removing the school administration from being in the unenviable position of verifying and weighing the validity of the exception request.
- It equalizes property values. Folks looking at housing in bad school districts will have the option of sending their kids to other schools, making the properties in bad school districts less undesirable.
While the majority of the school board continues to impress with refreshingly simple and pragmatic solutions, looming in the background of this decision are the board members who opposed it, arguing that the program is unfair because some parents will not be able to drive their kids to other schools. Really? Is that the best the teachers union could come up with? I mean really, how “fair” is it to stick a kid in an underperforming school?
At any rate, kudos to the school board for making some meaningful and tangible progress in improving the school system.