The Dispatch reported today on suggestions designed to help Columbus Public School leaders wrestle with how to control transportation costs.
“We don’t want to just talk about transportation alone,” said Superintendent Gene Harris, saying that the big goal is enticing parents to return their kids to their neighborhood schools.
School choice “was a value that a board of education several years ago had,” Harris said, adding that “now what our current board is going to have to decide is what their current values are.”
It’s certainly not a bad thing to promote neighborhood schools, but CPS should be careful not to entice parents back to neighborhood schools by closing the choice options.
Remember last month when The Dispatch reported that fully 45% of CPS’s students attend a school other than their assigned neighborhood school? That’s a lot. And it’s parents, not board members, making the decisions to match their kids to an environment where they think they can be successful.
As comments on the article suggest, a shift away from these options could alienate families and push even more parents to look outside the district options – whether by moving outside the district, attending a charter, or using an EdChoice voucher to attend private school.
Though transportation is a tough nut to crack, we hope the board will redouble their commitment to quality school choice and tackle the creative problem solving required to provide quality, efficient transportation.
- Chad L. Aldis