A Discussion Sponsored by
The California Education Policy Seminar
The California State University Institute for Education Reform
The California Education Policy Seminar
provides a neutral forum for state-level education policy makers and educators
to gain in-depth knowledge about emerging policy issues. The seminars have
contributed to the development, modification, and enactment of education
reform initiatives in California.
The California Education Policy Seminar is funded by the William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation, the Walter S. Johnson Foundations, the Pacific Telesis
Foundation, the Pioneer Fund, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Weingart
Foundation and the Stuart Foundations.
The California State University Institute for Education Reform
is a recently created university-based policy center focusing on elementary
and secondary school issues. Located on the California State University,
Sacramento campus, the Institute is supported by the California State University
Education Reform Today: School Choice and Assembly Bills 1114 and 19
Dissatisfaction with the public school system during the 1980s generated
many attempts at education reform, attempts which differed widely in both
focus and scale. Some, such as raising high school graduation standards
and creating new curriculum frameworks, targeted the content of student
learning. Others, such as charter schools and vouchers, sought to change
fundamentally the organizational design and funding of California's schools.
The voucher movement in particular shook the very foundations of public
education in California. The concept behind vouchers is grounded in the
free market, consumer-driven-allocation-of-resources model which has been
intriguing thinkers both inside and outside of the field of education since
Milton Friedman first brought it forth in the 1960s. The model rests on
the idea that, by empowering consumers, we make providers of a service or
product more sensitive and more accountable to their market. Applied in
its starkest form to education, this model translated as the provision of
education vouchers to all parents in the state, allowing them to spend "their
share" of taxpayer education dollars at any licensed educational institution
in California, public or private.
California's voucher movement gained momentum during the early 1990s. The
major legislative vehicle for vouchers, the initiative known as Proposition
174, ultimately failed by a substantial margin when put before the voters
in November 1993. However, in the course of a long campaign hard-fought
on both sides, acceptance grew in the state's education establishment of
the separate concept of allowing greater consumer choice among public schools.
Public school choice differs significantly from voucher proposals in not
providing any taxpayer subsidy to private schools.
Two bills were enacted in 1993 as a direct result of this latter development.
Assembly Bill 1114, by Assembly Member Dede Alpert, required local school
districts to permit intra-district student transfers. Assembly Bill 19,
by Assembly Member Charles Quackenbush, authorized districts to permit inter-district
ASSEMBLY BILL 1114: INTRA-DISTRICT SCHOOL CHOICE
AB 1114 established California's mandatory program of intra-district school
choice. The bill required, as a condition of receiving state funding, that
school districts adopt a policy of open enrollment within their boundaries.
The bill includes the following provisions:
parents who are district residents may select the school their child will
attend regardless of where the parents live -- with the exception that the
district must maintain appropriate racial and ethnic balances among its
parents must be informed of the availability of open enrollment via notification
during the first quarter or semester of each school year;
any school which receives admission requests in excess of its capacity must
utilize a random, unbiased selection policy for deciding among applicants,
with no consideration of either academic or athletic performance of the
students whose residence is in the attendance area of a school cannot be
displaced by students transferring into the attendance area; and
districts may continue to use existing entrance criteria for specialized
schools or programs (e.g. magnet schools, special education) as long as
they are applied consistently to all applicants.
Many districts also give priority under AB 1114's choice program to siblings
of choice students. While not required to, districts do have the flexibility
to choose this option.
ASSEMBLY BILL 19: INTER-DISTRICT SCHOOL CHOICE
Prior to 1993, education statutes provided students with a limited ability
to transfer between districts on a district-by-district, case-by-case basis.
AB 19 added a new scenario under which inter-district transfers may take
place, allowing local governing boards to elect to accept transfer students,
becoming "districts of choice." The program has a five-year sunset
ending it in 1999. Participating districts must observe parameters including
participating districts must determine the number of students they are willing/able
to accept each year and ensure they are admitted through a random, unbiased
either the district of residence or the district of choice may prohibit
a transfer if the determination is made that the transfer would negatively
impact a court-ordered or voluntary desegregation plan, or the racial and
ethnic balance of the district;
the district of residence may limit the number of students transferring
out of the district annually to 1 percent of its current year estimated
ADA if the district has more than 50,000 ADA, or 3 percent of current year
estimated ADA if the district has less than 50,000 ADA (districts with less
than 50,000 ADA may limit the maximum number of students transferring out
to 10 percent of their ADA for the 5-year duration of the program);
districts of choice cannot reject transfer of a student based on the cost
of educating that student, unless a new program would have to be created
specifically to serve that student;
no student who lives in the attendance area of, or is currently enrolled
in, a school may be displaced by a student transferring into the district;
siblings of children already attending school in the district of choice
must be given attendance priority.
It should be noted that AB 19's inter-district choice program is voluntary
by district and has been adopted only very sporadically throughout the state.
Concerns about Choice
A number of potential concerns related to the implementation of ABs 1114
and 19 were apparent when they were enacted:
How would parents in the community learn about school choice? How would
schools' efforts to inform the community about school choice affect their
other public outreach efforts?
How would the transfer system work, and would there be mechanisms to promote
fairness for everyone involved? Would choice provide opportunities for all
parents, or only some? Would segregation by class take place as more sophisticated
and/or committed parents moved their children to the "best" schools?
How would the key infrastructure issues -- the capacity of school facilities
to absorb transfers, and the availability of transportation to move children
around -- play out?
And what about California's complex and under-financed special education
system -- how would it be affected by the availability of school choice?
Responding to these and other concerns about the implementation of school
choice, on October 24, 1995, the California Education Policy Seminar and
the California State University's Institute for Education Reform convened
a seminar in Sacramento including school district administrators and board
members, teachers, private education consultants, state legislators and
legislative staff, and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Over
the course of a half-day session, the assembled group reviewed their collective
experiences working with AB 1114 and AB 19 and offered first-hand observations
and insights regarding the above concerns and the future of school choice
generally. What follows is a summary of that discussion and its conclusions.
Implementing School Choice: Four Districts' Experiences
In the course of the seminar, administrators from four school districts
-- San Diego, San Francisco, Delano and San Juan -- presented their experiences
with school choice. These four were invited because of their variety of
experiences as urban, rural and suburban districts, and because they were
further along in the process than many other districts. All four accepted
the AB 1114 intra-district school choice program as a positive challenge,
and became actively engaged in attempting to make the program work for their
students and parents. While each shared most of the concerns mentioned previously
in common, each also had stories unique to their district to tell. The variety
of experience reflected the variety of circumstances the districts encountered
in terms of parental involvement, facility and transportation needs, and
One theme which emerged clearly from the discussion was that, in spite of
a number of issues needing attention from state policy-makers, the school
choice programs in these districts are working smoothly. Only one district
reported having had a single parent upset by the process, and the districts
heard from at the seminar reported only one appeal of an inter-district
transfer decision. Significant numbers of families are taking advantage
of the availability of school choice, with very few instances of objection
San Diego Unified School District
The San Diego Unified School District educates 130,000 children, including
13,000 special education students. The district has a program of voluntary
busing for desegregation which is used by 11,000 students of color and 2,000
Anglo students. In school year 1994-95, San Diego's first year of school
choice, 4,500 students applied for intra-district transfers. Of those, 3,200
ended up transferring; many of those who did not ultimately transfer either
changed their mind or moved.
In implementing school choice, San Diego elected to separate choice applicants
out from others seeking to enroll. Choice applicants are effectively fourth
priority among enrollment applications, ranking after neighborhood residents,
magnet/desegregation applicants and special criterion applicants (which
include siblings of current students and parents seeking a specialized schedule
or program of instruction for their child).
The district believes the key to its successful implementation of school
choice was a strong emphasis on communication. The district spent a substantial
amount of time developing and refining informational materials for its large
and diverse parent population, and used both written and oral presentations
to spread parent awareness of the choice option.
One specific outcome of the choice program that San Diego experienced was
the popularity of certain of its high schools. When these schools were filled
by choice and other transfers, the district began to see a surge of younger
children applying for transfers to the elementary school feeders which would
track them for these same high schools, thereby improving these younger
age students' chances of attending their desired high school.
On the other hand, when individual schools lost enrollments, they were forced
to regroup, make changes and market themselves more aggressively. This outcome
-- schools which are losing students feeling strong pressure to change and
adapt -- is exactly what choice proponents hoped would occur.
San Diego officials felt transportation represented a significant barrier
to participation in school choice in a district of their size. The state
provided no supplemental transportation funding to enable the district to
move school choice students around, making this a serious fiscal issue for
the district (the state has, in fact, reimbursed only 40 percent of districts'
total transportation costs for the past ten years). The district was able,
through its existing transportation system, to offer a few busing spaces
to low-income choice students after the magnet and voluntary desegregation
program students had been accommodated.
San Diego has elected to participate in AB 19's inter-district program in
part because of an ongoing problem with ADA outflow to adjoining suburban
districts. By becoming a district of choice and supporting district schools'
efforts to improve and market themselves, San Diego hopes to reverse this
San Francisco Unified School District
The San Francisco Unified School District currently serves 64,000 students.
Of these, approximately 6,000 are special education students. Over 27,000
students participated in open enrollment in 1994, about 42 percent of the
total student population in the district.
That so many students in San Francisco open-enroll is mainly due to the
city's uniquely compact geography, and the strong system of transportation
the district has developed in response to court-ordered desegregation. San
Francisco's population density and extensive public transportation system
make it -- like New York City -- an ideal environment for school choice.
As in San Diego, district officials in San Francisco made a special effort
to communicate the presence of the school choice program to local parents.
The district sent out a notice regarding school choice to every parent early
in the implementation process and made an effort to have the program publicized
widely in the local media. While contributing to high demand for certain
individual schools, choice has also served to motivate San Francisco to
redirect district resources in an attempt to turn the performance of their
lowest-achieving schools around.
The district has been particularly concerned about the effects of implementing
school choice on its special education programs. Because of its concerns,
the district has applied choice to special education students on a case-by-case
basis, reviewing options and wishes individually with students and their
Officials are concerned about two potential side effects of choice with
regard to special education. First, they are worried about the possible
dispersal of specialized district services if special education students
spread out to a greater extent across the district. Second, they are concerned
that the opposite could occur -- that virtual special education magnet schools
might unintentionally be created because of a perception among parents that
certain inclusion schools -- schools where special education students are
routinely mainstreamed into regular classrooms -- are more desirable than
San Francisco also participates in the AB 19 inter-district transfer program
but, according to district officials, has experienced no notable effects
as a result.
Delano Union Elementary School District
Delano Union Elementary School District is a small district comprising 5,242
children in rural Kern County. As such, the challenges and issues it faced
with regard to school choice were different from either San Francisco or
San Diego's. The district does not operate under a desegregation order,
but does face significant transportation issues due to its rural character.
The district's primary method for informing parents about choice was by
sending specially-prepared background materials home with students.
In its first year of intra-district choice, Delano had 95 applications for
transfer. Of these initial applicants, 33 were already in the neighborhood
of their school of choice and were admitted automatically (prior to AB 1114,
some families had their children attending school outside of their neighborhood,
and decided to return to their designated neighborhood schools through the
AB 1114 process). The other 62 applicants were given the available transfer
slots by lottery, as required by law.
One new issue the district encountered was of some parents being dishonest
about the actual residence of their child. This phenomenon is doubtless
related to Delano's biggest concern relative to school choice: insufficient
capacity. As a small district in a community undergoing significant growth,
Delano has had to virtually shut down the school choice program in its second
year, because every school in the district is full. Officials expressed
concern that additional growth in the next few years could potentially force
them to "bump" current choice transfer students back to their
neighborhood schools in order to accommodate new neighborhood growth patterns.
Delano has not implemented AB 19 to date. District officials reported that
very few districts in Kern County had elected to administer the program,
because most schools in the area are at capacity now and could not take
any incoming transfer students, because they are concerned about being required
to receive special education students with associated higher costs, and
because they view the pre-AB 19 inter-district transfer process as adequate.
San Juan Unified School District
San Juan, a district of 48,000 students covering much of the suburban region
east of Sacramento, has had district-wide open enrollment for 15 years.
Because of this, and because San Juan was quick to utilize the magnet school
option when it became available, a culture of healthy competition and specialization
has developed among the individual schools in the district. The district
encourages this entrepreneurial attitude by asking every school to establish
a focus of some kind for its student learning programs, and by pursuing
strong public outreach efforts.
MALLING THE COMPETITION
San Juan Unified School District takes a unique approach to public outreach
recently, bringing schools into perhaps the most appropriate setting for
entrepreneurial self-marketing: the mall. In an all-volunteer effort, parents,
students, teachers and administrators develop display materials and staff
booths lining the interior of a large local mall, promoting the assets both
of each individual school and of the school district as a whole. The end
result of this now-annual event is increased involvement by all members
of the school community, enhanced pride for each participant in their own
school, and a significant increase in awareness of the programs and activities
of area public schools by local citizens of all ages.
One way the district works to involve parents actively is to advertise widely
the availability of choice in the district. If parents are interested in
a school outside their neighborhood, they are asked to request their top
three choices of schools for their child. First priority always goes to
a child requesting their neighborhood school; outside placements are based
on space availability. If requests exceed space, students are selected randomly
by computer lottery. Once students are accepted for transfer, San Juan requires
that they attend their new school for a year; they cannot turn around and
re-enroll in their neighborhood school immediately if they change their
San Juan has chosen not to administer the AB 19 inter-district program,
in large part due to special education-related concerns. The district has
strong special education programs which already attract a significant number
of inter-district transfers under existing rules. Officials are concerned
that opening up inter-district transfers further could result in an influx
of special education students from outside the district which could overwhelm
the district financially. In many cases, costs for special education students
are much greater than the per-student reimbursement districts receive from
the state and federal governments (often referred to in education parlance
Lessons Learned: How School Choice Plays Out
Discussion of the four districts' experiences with school choice illuminated
three distinct issue areas which demand further attention from both state
policy-makers and local district officials:
access and fairness
Because school choice is not meaningful without broad awareness of its availability,
AB 1114 included language requiring parental notification. Each district
represented at the seminar executed an effective community/parent outreach
strategy, and found it to be the most important component of implementing
school choice in their district. Choice, in fact, energized their communications
with the local community, giving them both a mission to reach out and a
positive message to communicate to local parents.
Many districts have also found that once better awareness has been achieved,
choice is a tool for enhancing parent involvement by increasing responsibility
for and pride in the school they have chosen for their child. For example,
San Juan's initiative to involve students and parents in a highly visible
public outreach effort at a local mall helped to invest these parents strongly
in the success of their children's schools.
LESSONS IN MARKETING
In many instances, choice has accelerated schools' efforts to market themselves
to their communities. In addition to San Juan's successful mall innovation,
schools faced with implementing choice have held information nights for
parents, sent home parent surveys, escorted local realtors on neighborhood
bus tours, and worked to foster a focus and individual identity for themselves.
Each of these methods has proven useful both in increasing community awareness
of school programs, and in improving the schools' public relations skills.
Choice has also required many schools on the losing end of transfer flows
to reassess and rejuvenate their own public outreach efforts in order to
counteract any negative trend in enrollments. District officials noted numerous
instances of schools being driven to improve their efforts by events following
the implementation of school choice. A key factor, of course, is the resources
available to each individual school. San Francisco in particular noted cases
where the district had felt it necessary to redirect funding to assist individual
schools in making the changes needed for them to compete effectively in
a school choice environment.
Access and Fairness
Access -- including issues of transportation and of capacity -- and fairness
go hand in hand when it comes to school choice.
Transportation in particular is a factor which cuts largely along socio-economic
lines. A persuasive argument can be made that if transportation is not a
part of the program's package, school choice is primarily an option for
well-to-do families who are able to provide their own transportation. In
order to ensure school choice is not reserved only for the affluent, districts
must be able to offer some transportation options under the program. If
the state is genuinely committed to promoting school choice, higher levels
of transportation support will be necessary.
Capacity can be a deciding factor in the success of a school choice program.
If excess capacity remains at district schools, flexibility on who attends
where is nearly always possible. But if schools are at full capacity already
-- and/or if the region is experiencing rapid population growth, as Delano
has -- then lack of capacity can effectively kill a choice program. Choice
no longer exists when there is no room for students wanting to transfer.
A concentrated, effective communication effort has also proven vital to
promoting fairness in the context of school choice. A lackluster approach
to communication and outreach could exacerbate the differences in opportunity
between those children of involved and uninvolved parents -- a continuum
which tends to parallel the parents' economic status.
Under both AB 1114 and AB 19, children living in a given neighborhood have
priority over other children in applying to attend their neighborhood school
-- a key fairness consideration in the eyes of most parents. As Delano has
experienced, however, this "fairness" provision can have the effect
of eliminating school choice if capacity is a problem. Rapid neighborhood
growth remains a common phenomenon in many areas of California, and districts
are still struggling to determine the fairest method of balancing the interests
of the new neighborhood student against the non-resident student with significant
tenure at the impacted school.
Another fairness issue involves the student who transfers under a choice
program, has their slot at their old school filled, and then changes their
mind and wants to transfer back. Different districts handle this situation
differently; San Juan has chosen to require transfer students to attend
their new school for at least a year before being eligible to apply to transfer
back. Others let capacity determine their degree of flexibility, with the
principle of not displacing the currently enrolled student, regardless of
their residence, generally holding priority.
A key concern in the area of special education is the unintentional over-
or under-concentration of services for this population of students. Both
potential outcomes worry some district officials as they implement school
choice. Might students requiring specialized instruction spread out further
across the district, requiring a redistribution of special education resources
and additional district expense? Or might so-called "inclusion schools"
become magnets for special education students and become overburdened in
A problem faced by districts such as San Juan, which have strong special
education programs, is that participation in the inter-district choice program
could attract more out-of-district special education students than they
have the financial ability to serve. Disparities among school districts
in special education funding accentuate this concern. In order for these
issues to be addressed, a searching review of the state's special education
funding mechanism is needed. The chief goals of this review should be to
equalize funding among school districts, and to increase program flexibility
in order to allow districts to provide the most effective services to special
A NOTE ON AB 19: WHY INTER-DISTRICT CHOICE LAGS
While not charged with tracking how many districts participate in the AB
19 inter-district choice program, the state Department of Education believes
that there are less than ten statewide. A variety of explanations for this
are offered by districts not electing to administer the program: concerns
about being overburdened with special education students, lack of capacity,
and sentiment among some districts that inter-district choice protocols
under existing law prior to AB 19 are adequate.
A cynical view is put forward by some that there is a gentleman's agreement
among districts not to pursue inter-district because it is administratively
burdensome and could ultimately result in a loss of ADA to other districts.
A more disturbing explanation has been suggested with regard to urban regions
of the state: that suburban districts don't want to be forced to take in
low-achieving/minority students from adjacent urban districts. An example
cited was that of Los Angeles, where LA Unified School District faces severe
overcrowding even as suburban districts at its fringes close schools rather
than accept inter-district transfers.
Dr. Bruce Fuller: Who Gains, Who Loses From Choice
In addition to the presentations by the four districts noted above, Professor
Bruce Fuller of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education made a
related presentation. Dr. Fuller offered the group an overview of Harvard's
efforts to explore the implementation and implications of school choice
Dr. Fuller commented on the dearth of evidence to rely upon, given that
school choice is a relatively recent phenomenon. He also pointed out the
wide variability of conditions nationally in terms of district structure,
the amount of information offered parents, the degree of targeting of special-needs
populations, and the amount of support innovative schools receive from the
state, local parents and any foundations or other sources of funding.
The framework Dr. Fuller used for his review keyed on the issue of fairness,
asking the question "who gains and who loses from school choice?"
Dr. Fuller's answer entailed asking three further questions:
who participates in school choice?
is school choice driving innovation at participating schools?
what happens to the children left behind by student outflows resulting from
With regard to who participates, Dr. Fuller's answer was, those families
where the parents are already actively involved in their children's education.
These families pay attention to information sent home from school and ask
whatever questions they need to in order to gain access to choice. They
also, not coincidentally, tend to have higher-achieving children. Dr. Fuller
pointed out that California does have a random selection provision tied
in to its choice program to prevent schools from "creaming" --
but also that we, like every other school system with school choice, still
face the reality of parent self-selection to participate in the first place.
With regard to choice driving innovation, Dr. Fuller's research suggests
it has occurred in some cases, but not nearly to the extent free market
proponents might predict. There has been little noticeable effect on either
school functioning or student learning. Dr. Fuller suggested schools have
not adopted effective plans or strategies to adapt to choice. Without strategic
planning aimed at meeting the challenge of a "free market" education
economy, improvement is rarely significant, where it occurs at all.
Dr. Fuller pointed to the academic fate of those in the schools "left
behind" as the greatest unknown -- and concern -- with regard to school
choice. No one has yet been able to measure what the cost is to the larger
student body when higher-achieving students move on to another school. Do
schools respond and reinvent themselves, or do people tend to despair and
CHOICE ACROSS THE NATION: SAN ANTONIO, MILWAUKEE
AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY
Dr. Fuller's review of the research focused on school choice programs in
three areas across the country: San Antonio, TX, Milwaukee, WI and Montgomery
San Antonio's choice program targets Hispanic students, who make up over
80 percent of the student population. The program centers on a set of multilingual
schools providing total immersion in Latino culture, history and language,
and has proven very popular for low-income families, with 82 percent of
those participating coming from families with annual earnings of $35,000
Choice students did appear to be learning at a higher rate than their counterparts
at neighborhood schools. However, despite strong participation from lower-income
families, the San Antonio program still experienced sharp income-based differences.
Relatively better-off parents participated in school choice in greater numbers
than those less well-off even, among the pool of low-income families in
the program. This occurred in large part due to the achievement-based admissions
structure for the multicultural schools and the higher educational expectations
relatively higher-income parents had for their children.
Milwaukee's approach to choice is a public/private voucher program specifically
targeting students from low-income families (participating families' income
may not exceed 175 percent of the poverty line). The $3,000 vouchers offered
to eligible children have spurred rapid growth of Afro-centric and Hispanic
private community schools in the city's ethnic neighborhoods -- and the
concurrent development of black and Hispanic self-segregation into these
separate community schools.
As in San Antonio, in Milwaukee those students most likely to participate
in choice were those with the most involved parents with the highest level
of education themselves. However, while choice parents are more satisfied
with their schools, evidence suggests choice students in Milwaukee to date
are not learning more or faster than their counterparts in neighborhood
Montgomery County, MD (just north of Washington, D.C.) implemented a program
of magnet schools in the early 1970s as an alternative to involuntarily
busing to achieve desegregation. By 1987 there were 16 elementary school,
two middle-school and one high school magnets.
However, an awareness gap exists between parents of differing ethnic and
income backgrounds, stunting the program's effectiveness. Recent research
shows that 72 percent of all white parents are aware of magnet schools,
whereas less than 60 percent of black and just 39 percent of Hispanic parents
know magnet schools are available to them. Most students exercising choice
are from upper-middle income white and black families. In addition, parents
showed a marked tendency to self-segregate, choosing schools with a preponderance
of students of similar ethnic background.
Several members of the group commented on Dr. Fuller's findings, one pointing
out that, while improved student achievement may not be the explicit goal
of school choice, one of the results of choice was that students and parents
felt better about the school environment, and this tended to have a positive
effect on student achievement. Several agreed that choice should not be
viewed as a comprehensive education reform strategy, but rather as one of
many elements needed to achieve effective reform.
There was wide agreement that Dr. Fuller's national research points out
many of the interesting dynamics that occur in school choice programs, and
that California needs to duplicate his research here, in order to evaluate
how our program is developing, what is working, and what problems and concerns
need attention from the state's education leaders.
School Choice: An Agenda for the Future
The intra-district choice program implemented subsequent to AB 1114 has
experienced a relatively smooth ride thus far, receiving largely favorable
reaction from parents and students and very few complaints. The key forces
determining the level of success were timely and useful information being
supplied to parents, and the availability of transportation to move students
The ultimate success of school choice, however, will depend on the future
attention given to the dynamics and finer points of the program by education
leaders in Sacramento. Generally speaking, school site leaders are doing
a conscientious job of raising community awareness of school choice and
making the program work as well as possible -- but significant refinements
are still needed to allow school choice to provide the widest possible benefits.
We must recognize that choice is not a panacea for the education system's
problems, that it is merely one element in what should be a comprehensive
education reform strategy, and that specific issues such as special education
financing and inner-city student under-achievement still need targeted attention
We must explore new ways to involve the non-involved parent -- we need to
engage them at the start when their child enters kindergarten and encourage
them to make choices that will invest them in the process of their child's
Recognizing that a majority of parents will consistently "choose"
their neighborhood school out of simple convenience, we must acknowledge
that market forces alone will not always energize those schools where parents
and teachers are not highly motivated to make the needed changes.
The Legislature needs to consider funding discrepancies between districts
in the context of school choice; if choice is to be fair to all, the issue
of funding inequities must be addressed.
Following on the findings of this seminar, the Department of Education should
make an effort to share individual districts' experiences under choice with
districts across the state.