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Proviso Probe

Friday, January 19, 2007

ED, ISBE cuts funding for second chance programs

Chicago Defender (Mema Ayi):
The Illinois State Board of Education will not recommend spending $40 million to re-enroll dropouts to its 2008 budget when the board votes Thursday, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Despite a plea by Chicago-based Alternative Schools Network and five student testimonies on re-enrollment at the board's Wednesday finance and audit committee meeting of the whole, the funding proposal came too late to be considered, ISBE spokeswoman Andrea Preston said....

London Clark said he was "clowning" when he attended Proviso West High School in Hillside. But after eight months at home, he was itching to go back to school. Academy of Scholastic Achievement gave him the fresh start he needed.

"It's changed my whole life and I didn't even know it would," he said.

To what extent should society subsidize high school alternatives for drop-outs?

Do these subsidies implicitly OK schools neglecting some of their students? Do they make dropping out a safer choice for students?

[UPDATE: I just read on Capitol Fax Blog (linked to Chicago Tribune(Diane Rado)) that the State Board of Education is looking to significantly boost spending on students.

[Could it be that the money for increased spending on students is partially coming from cutting second-chance programs. How do you feel about this?

[BTW, I think this is pretty typical of how Blagojevich operates. He establishes new expectations (All Kids, more school spending, etc.) without funding the programs long-term. But he does establish the higher expectations of government for the scope of existing programs.]

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