New flexibility offered by the Every Student Succeeds Act so far is not turning out to be the bonanza for school choice that some supporters had hoped.
A new pilot program in ESSA allows districts to combine federal, state, and local dollars into a single funding stream tied to individual students. English- learners, poor children, and students in special education would carry with them more money than other students. The program could be used to help districts set up public school choice programs.
The law allows up to 50 districts to participate in the first few years of the pilot, with the possibility of more joining in down the line. But only Arizona’s Roosevelt district No. 66 had applied to use the flexibility in the 2019-20 school year by the July 15 deadilne.
Roosevelt joins just five other districts that raised their hands to try the pilot in the 2018-19 school year. So far, none of those districts is planning to use the pilot to create a school choice program, with the possible exception of Puerto Rico.
A version of this article appeared in the August 22, 2018 edition of Education Week as For 2019-20, Only One District Seeks to Use ESSA’s Weighted-Funding Pilot