Looking for more money, districts target home school families
By Julia Silverman, The Associated Press, April 2, 2005
The instructor wanted to know whether Wilson, who is home-schooled
alongside his three brothers, liked being taught by his mother, and why
he didn’t come to public school full-time, instead of just for music
programs….the teacher’s questions were part of a larger effort by the Myrtle
Point school district to persuade home-schooling families in the area
to give the public school system a shot.
Ann: Do teachers have to be trained salespersons these days?
…every home-schooled child that Myrtle Point can woo means an extra
$5,000 or so for the school’s bottom line. District estimates are that
about 100 kids living in the district are home-schooled, which could
bring in up to $500,000.
Ann: Why doesn’t the district simply offer an excellent program and let choice take its course? Or is this really a jobs program that needs to "woo" students to succeed?
Ann: There’s more. This story is being picked up worldwide.
Public Schools Seek to Lure Home-Schooled
By Julia Silverman, The Associated Press, April 7, 2005
Myrtle Point, with an enrollment of 779, is not the only district pursuing such a strategy.
In Walla Walla, Wash., 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, Colo., 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.
Ann: This effort – public schools targeting homeschoolers as an untapped market – is not new. Washington Ohio homeschoolers, among others, have been targeted for years.
Ann: Finally, apparently fearing a First Amendment violation, an award-winning blog posted on this article concerning the potential for "fundamentalizing the curriculum."
The scary part [of the article] is where the Myrtle Point Oregon superintendent talks about fundamentalizing the curriculum.
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. “We’re not setting up a church steeple. But students want
academic freedom enough to encourage different things, and that should
not be stifled by relying on exclusive treatments,” Smith said.
So the school district, suffering for money, decides they will give
equal weight to these religious beliefs in classes in an effort to lure
Ann: Recruitment of homeschoolers – just how far will districts go?