Posts Tagged ‘Justin Owen’

It’s Time to Chart-er a New Course

It’s Time to Chart-er a New Course

Sit in on a Metro Nashville School Board meeting or turn to any Tennessean article that mentions education, and you’ll hear quite a bit of charter school bashing. If you only listened to certain school board members, you would think that charters are the spawn of Satan himself.

Too bad that when the results come out, it’s traditional public schools that should be sent to the principal’s office for bad behavior. A recent report shows that the number of “priority schools”—or those performing so poorly that they are subject to being taken over by the state, and potentially converted to charter schools—has nearly tripled. There are now 15 low-performing schools in Nashville, up from six last year, and none of which are those despised charter schools.

The problem is that when you point your finger at someone, the other three are always pointing back at you. Our anti-charter school board members need to end their tirade and do a bit of housekeeping. Casting blame on the wrong party, especially the schools that are consistently out-performing their peers, does nothing to better educate our children. In fact, it appears it’s only made things worse.

-Justin Owen

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August 21st, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

Local 24 Investigates: School Vouchers

Local 24 in Memphis did a great story on our recently released education report. You can watch the full video here.

The report, “Saving Education,” broke down school spending. It looked at fixed and variable costs at school districts across the state. The findings are that most schools districts wouldn’t lose money under a voucher system. The report said Shelby County Schools would come out $1,500 ahead for every student that left with a voucher. That is because only a portion of the funding would follow the child. The rest would stay with the public school district.

“We already spend a set amount of money on each child and only a portion of that would follow each student so why not create a win/win situation,” Justin Owen of Beacon Center said.

August 20th, 2014 | Commentary

Education Study Shows Vouchers Benefit Students and Public Schools

Education Study Shows Vouchers Benefit Students and Public Schools

The Beacon Center of Tennessee has just released the highly anticipated “Saving Education” study, a new study on education, which focuses on the impact of opportunity scholarships, or vouchers, on the public school system. You can download the full study here.

The results were eye-opening to be sure, showing that students leaving public schools with vouchers are not the only ones who are helped, vouchers also benefit those children who stay in the public school system.

Because only a portion of per pupil funding follows a child in a voucher program, there will be a substantial amount of money left over for the public school district.

The study shows that on average, school districts across the state would have an additional $612 on top of fixed costs for every student that leaves the school district with a scholarship. Additionally, if a voucher program was focused on failing school districts, such as districts in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, these districts would save an average of more than $1,000 per student who left with a voucher.

“The teachers’ union keeps repeating the myth that opportunity scholarships would take away money from our public schools, but that has been proven wrong yet again,” said Beacon CEO Justin Owen.

August 19th, 2014 | Feature, Policy

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