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School Choice & Charters

Shelton Takes a Top Innovation Job at U.S. Department

By Alyson Klein — April 14, 2009 1 min read

So...it’s official. Jim Shelton, a former program director at the Gates Foundation, is really and truly helping to head up the Office for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. (Big hat tip to Flypaper on this one).

And, even though the department hasn’t sent around a release announcing the pick, Shelton is already hard at work in his new gig. He signed a letter, dated April 6, that was sent to the parents of new students slated to be enrolled in the D.C. voucher program. It says that the department “deeply regrets the confusion” over the program’s future, and points folks to public school resources.

The letter signals that the department isn’t going to allow new students to join the program, which is slated to expire after this year unless the Democratically-controlled Congress decides to renew it. (That’s considered a long shot). The money already slated this year will go to students already enrolled in the program.

The Washington Post ran an editorial criticizing the department for playing politics this weekend. Do you agree that’s what this is?

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