Public debate is warranted

The Mining Journal, Marquette, Mich.: A proposal backed by Gov. Rick Snyder which may, in effect, create a something of a free market for public educational choices in the state of Michigan deserves, at a minimum, a thorough debate.

At a glance, the Michigan Public Education Finance Act would allow public school students to attend state-funded classes in any other district, regardless of borders, The Associated Press reports. Students would be allowed to take their public funding with them, so to speak. Additionally, early graduation would be encouraged, with students qualifying for up to $10,000 in scholarship money at a rate of $2,500 per semester.

Students would be allowed to take classes online, as long as the coursework was offered through a state-funded school district.

Detractors — and there are more than a few — rightfully point out that the plan, which is reportedly going to be presented in the governor’s budget message in February, will more than likely drain students, and educational dollars, out of struggling urban districts. Others suggest online classes deprive students of contact with instructors and other students.

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