Competing for home-schoolers

Eager to boost state funding, public schools are trying to woo home-schoolers.

In Myrtle Point (Oregon), the district is trying to phase in some courses that could prove particularly appealing to home-school parents, such as forestry, ecology and computer science.

Superintendent Robert Smith said the school system is also willing to adjust the curriculum — for example, by allowing discussion of creationism in biology class, or biblical literature in English courses.

. . . In Walla Walla, Washington, school officials have launched plans for a new learning center that they hope will attract at least 30 home-school students, to help cope with a projected $200,000 in budget cuts next school year.

A school district in Fort Collins, Colorado, started a program aimed at drawing home-schooled youngsters into the system with two days a week of art, science and music. In 2003, it earned the district an extra $203,341 in state funding.

Schools are trying harder to please parents whose children aren’t a captive audience.

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Comments

  1. They may be trying, but old habits die hard.

    “Families who home school or choose to send their kids to other districts, we need your full support, not just what’s convenient for you,” King wrote. “While you may have good reasons, please do your part by enrolling your kids full-time in the district and don’t just ‘cherry-pick’ music or sports.”

    Yehah– that’d inspire me to enroll my kids.

  2. They may be trying, but old habits die hard.

    “Families who home school or choose to send their kids to other districts, we need your full support, not just what’s convenient for you,” King wrote. “While you may have good reasons, please do your part by enrolling your kids full-time in the district and don’t just ‘cherry-pick’ music or sports.”

    Yehah– that’d inspire me to enroll my kids.

  3. On the other hand, the district is now resorting to guilt to get what it used to get with no effort at all.

    How long will it be before they stop bothering with ineffectual but cheap appeals to guilt and get on with the process of finding out what it’ll take to attract parents?

  4. Andy Freeman says:

    > we need your full support, not just what’s convenient for you,” King wrote.

    Umm, govt gets the same taxes either way, so clearly he’s writing about getting his cut.

    It is all about the money.

  5. Tom Paine says:

    I live and am currently enrolled in the Beaverton School District, just west of Portland. We have a homeschool school here, too. It’s somewhat comical. A few years ago the state and district were in a form of budget crisis. The district quickly rushed more property taxes through (much to my chagrin) and everything seemed to quiet down. Then, a couple of years later, they start a school for homeschoolers. The school’s called The Village. I just wonder why we spend our tax dollars on kids or their parents who have elected not to go to school. Shouldn’t public school students get a bit of a relief from the conditions in our schools first? Of course, then the district would lose their bargaining position as everything would be fine. You don’t get money for doing well in the school system.

  6. “Families who home school or choose to send their kids to other districts, we need your full support, not just what’s convenient for you,” King wrote. “While you may have good reasons, please do your part by enrolling your kids full-time in the district and don’t just ‘cherry-pick’ music or sports.”

    Parents have a right to “cherry-pick” if its means a good education. It’s not just a matter of convenience; in many cases, the parents “sacrifice” their own time and money for good programs for their children. It’s really an investment, not a sacrifice, and definitely not a convenience. The education, and in some cases the very survival of their children are at stake.

  7. I will also add that money may not be the real issue here. The term “captive audience” suggests a psychological need on the part of some teachers/ educators to be surrounded by dependent subordinates. Another term for such educators is “psychic vampires”.

    They are essentially pedophiles – not sexual, but social and emotional. Dependent, irresponsible, manipulative, lacking in social skills (but full of the Gospel of Socialization), unable to relate to other adults as equals, enamored of hierarchy…. I can see why they want a captive audience!

  8. Katherine C says:

    This is totally not the way to go. I say, if a parent wants to home school their child, let them. Don’t change your curriculum (sacrifice your curriculum, actually) to try to attract people who don’t want to be there in the first place.