Jake Haulk at the Allegheny Institute points out that Duquesne City School District spends almost $20,000 per student every year (state average is about $14,000). But less than one-fifth of students in the district are proficient in reading or math, woefully short of the Pennsylvania state goals, and elementary and middle school students were subjected to 48 acts of violence in 2009-10.
After years and years of failure, it’s clear the district is incapable of educating its students. The state took control over the Duquesne school district in 2000, as more than 70 percent of the district’s funding comes from state taxpayers. The high school shuttered its doors in 2007—students in grades nine to 12 are sent to schools in one of two neighboring districts.
Haulk suggests the state should nix the Duquesne School District entirely, devoting state funds to vouchers worth $10,000 per student. Duquesne could see a win-win-win: Children would have the opportunity to attend a better school, parents could choose the school they think is best for their kids, and taxpayers would save millions of dollars in state and local property taxes. That’s a pain reliever worth popping.
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