Charter school autonomy continues to influence

I was encouraged to see this paragraph in a recent Indianapolis Star article about giving the Indianapolis mayor control of the local school district:

The most likely plan would include mayoral appointment of the School Board, combined with a decentralization of IPS. Schools would have an independence similar to what charter schools have, along with strict accountability to the mayor for performance.

As the parental choice movement continues to grow, pressure will build to give district schools the same management autonomy as charter schools and private schools receiving publicly funded vouchers and scholarships. Within the next 20 years or so, charter schools may be the dominant governance model in public education. If this transition occurs, school boards will stop owning and managing schools and instead become the primary regulatory body for all publicly funded education in their districts.

The big winners from this decentralization will be teachers, students and taxpayers. Teacher unions will resist since their business model assumes a centralized employer, but after a prolonged temper tantrum they’ll adjust and reinvent themselves.

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BY Doug Tuthill

A lifelong educator and former teacher union president, Tuthill has been president of Step Up For Students since August 2008.