Business Week Letter to the Editor
William Symonds correctly identifies some valuable openings for the private sector with the passage of President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Education Plan” (“A New Push to Privatize,” January 14). But he misses perhaps the most significant one: Under the “supplemental services” section of the new law, parents of children stuck in chronically failing public schools will be able to use their entire share of Title I aid – approximately $500 to $1,000 per child – to purchase private tutorial services to help improve their children’s academic performance. Tutoring, afterschool and summer school programs are all eligible uses for these funds, and providers can include private or religiously affiliated organizations.
A Congressional analysis estimates children attending nearly 3,000 failing public schools would qualify for this program immediately. This new federal program not only introduces market forces into a sector desperate for their infusion of innovation. It presents the education industry with a powerful new direction for growth.
—Don Soifer is Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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