The National Education Association's Board of Directors approved sending $750,000 to the Michigan Education Association (MEA) to fight the Kids First! Yes! voucher proposal. Michigan will be one of only two states, California being the other, with a school choice proposal on the ballot in November. See related story about ALL Kids First!, the MEA-backed group opposing the measure.
Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor John Norquist says, "Fifteen years ago, I shared the view that vouchers would cripple public schools. But today, in Milwaukee, the debate about vouchers is over. And in response to the question, 'Does school choice help private school children or public school children?' the answer is 'yes.'"
The Charter Schools Development & Performance Institute at Central Michigan University opened its doors May 1, 2000. Funded by a $1 million federal grant, the institute aims to foster effectively run charter public schools by promoting development, achievement, and accountability.
Harvard University establishes new program to study for-profit education. The David T. Kearns Program on Business, Government, and Education will concentrate on evaluating the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of business and education. Last year, the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education was established at Teachers College, Columbia University, to study growing private-sector involvement in public education.
Private schools effectively teach disadvantaged students, according to a Reason Public Policy Institute study. Since the early 1990s, several urban school districts around the nation have contracted with private remedial education companies to work in public schools using Title I and other public education funds. The report, Remedial Education Reform: Private Alternatives to Traditional Title I, can be viewed at www.rppi.org.