2. The Intersection of School Finances and School Choice
Initiatives in the US around School Choice offer a wealth of insights into ways we can support the transformation of educational funding. The School Choice movement imagines a possible future where the social impulse of Waldorf education and its accessibility to more families of all economic levels might be realized. In many countries, independent schools suffer from the fact that the funding for education managed by the government for the public good is often only available for government-run schools. This, of course, is not healthy for the public good or necessary. It does not support diversity or excellence in education approaches. What’s more, it leaves those families who would otherwise not choose a government-designed and regulated schooling experience for their children to pay for alternatives on their own. This effectively takes choice away from parents, especially parents who are economically poor.
There are numerous organizations within the US with initiatives to change this by transforming the way government funding supports parental choice through vouchers and tax credits. (In other countries it is different). Every independent school should be aware of these efforts and actively support this movement toward greater choice and a more widely accepted distribution of educational funding to all schools.
AWSNA supported the development of two reports on the realities of school choice, researched and written by Gary Lamb (read). The most recent one is available in our resource collection and is a valuable read for anyone who is considering the long-term financial future of a school. In addition to these good reports, there are a number of groups with valuable information about how to stay informed and involved in these movements. One good resource is the annual report of the Federation for School Choice. (read)
This is a continuation from the article Seven Keys to Sustainability in the April 2014 LeadTogether Newsletter.