Education News

More School Choice Could Come To Texas With Vouchers

National School Choice Week highlights different options for students, families.

teacher writing on the chalkboard
Photo credit: free images

Across Greater Houston, students can attend the public school in their neighborhood. Or they could enroll someplace else.

“When you offer a family a choice, it empowers not only the family but it empowers the student,” said Laura Aasletten, magnet coordinator at Garden Oaks Montessori School.

In fact, there are more than 100 magnet options in the Houston Independent School District. Magnets offer students a focused area of study or specialized program.

At Garden Oaks Montessori, teachers have individualized, hands-on lessons.

“You never see a direct teach model. You always see small group and individualized instruction, based on individual students’ needs,” Aasletten said.

Beside magnets, students have other choices, including:

  • Charter schools
  • Private schools
  • Online classes
  • Homeschool

Those options are getting a lot of attention with National School Choice Week.

Kevin Wellner at the National Education Policy Center said school choice should be a tool, not an end goal.

“Just simply turning the free market loose on the system of schooling doesn’t magically advance the goal of decreasing stratification,” he said.

“What you oftentimes end up with is a poor get poorer problem. The kids who have the least opportunities outside of school then are the least able to manipulate a school choice system and gain advantage from it,” Wellner said.

Some Texas lawmakers want even more school choice with vouchers, which allow families to use tax dollars for private school tuition.

 

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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