SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Struggling Indiana public school districts are buying billboard space, airing radio ads and even sending principals door-to-door.
It's an unusual marketing campaign aimed at persuading parents not to move their children to private schools as the nation's largest voucher program doubles in size.
The promotional efforts are an attempt to prevent the kind of student exodus that administrators have long feared might result from allowing students to attend private school using public money. If a large number of families abandon their local districts, millions of dollars could be drained from the state's public education system.
The Indiana voucher program is the biggest test yet of an idea sought for years by conservative Republicans. They say it offers families more choices and gives public schools a greater incentive to improve.
And of course the money that used to go to into the public school system will now go to the edu-entrepreneurs and the for-profits.
That's what education reform has always been about.
Squeezing labor costs, chopping off whole segments of the system and making them for-profit, garnering tax breaks for their "philanthropy" and making money hand over fist.
We're getting pretty close to the end game when a public school system has to take out ads begging parents to not abandon it.