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Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools?Parental and community support for school choice has increased dramatically in recent years, with vouchers, charter schools, home schooling, and other educational alternatives all garnering greater support. Supporters cite gains in reading levels and higher graduation rates amongst reasons why school choice improves education outcomes for low-income, inner-city students. They also cite the importance of offering the same choice in education that higher income families are able to provide. What impediments stand in the way of implementing school choice? How large of a factor is union opposition to school choice? Are unions correct in asserting that vouchers take resources away from the public school system and are financially unaccountable? What about charters? Recently, the California Supreme Court decision upheld the rights of charter schools not to be controlled by the union’s collective bargaining agreements. Will this lead to an increased number of charter schools? How does the national school choice movement encourage reform in California? What trends or alternatives may arise in the future? A panel of experts will discuss these questions and will offer their assessment of school choice programs a decade after Zelman v. Simmons-Harris opened the door for school choice programs.

Panel One: Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools?
10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  • Prof. Julian Betts, Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego
  • Mr. Clint Bolick, Vice President for Litigation, The Goldwater Institute
  • Prof. Bruce Fuller, Professor, Education and Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mr. William R. Maurer, Executive Director, Institute for Justice Washington Chapter (IJ-WA)
  • Ms. Gloria Romero, Democrats for Education Reform and former Democratic Majority Leader, California State Senate (2001-08)
  • Moderator: Hon. Carlos Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

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