10-15-14 – Teachers Love School Choice – For Themselves

posted by Rob Roper

The Stowe school board announced this week that a long-time benefit for teachers who live out of town is about to end – school choice for their kids.

Well, limited school choice but still a significant choice. Stowe has allowed through what are called “tuition waivers” the children of teachers who don’t live in the district the choice of whether to attend school in their home district or in Stowe, free of charge. According to an article in the Stowe Reporter, an average of 10-15 kids take advantage of this each year.

Here’s how the program is described by superintendent Tracy Wrend:

It’s certainly something teachers value. We believe it helps with teacher attendance, loyalty and commitment. Teachers find it easier to focus on their work and attend teacher conferences when their children attend the same school system in which they teach. (Stowe Reporter, 10/16/14)

Yeah. School choice will do that. Even when it’s a choice between just two schools.

It is disappointing to see any family lose a school choice option, particularly one that so clearly shows the value of school choice and how important an impact it can have on a family and a career. At the same time, it’s hard not to choke on the hypocrisy of teachers enjoying a benefit that their union fights tooth and nail to deny the families of any and all non-public school employees.

Let’s just hope this episode opens some eyes within the public school community that all parents deserve and would benefit from the ability to choose to send their child to a school in the district where they work if that provides a better fit for the family. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve the opportunity to be happier, more focused, more productive, and more committed to the people and the projects in their lives?

– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

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