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Chapter 16, The Road Ahead in School Finance, is the last chapter in this study. Below, you will find several issues listed that surround current trends and issues in school finance. Discuss all of these issues with your classmates.

Virtual or online co-op classes are areas of consideration for all schools as they look to the future. Areas to consider are: special education, gifted education, and AP classes. Public school leaders and private school leaders must consider these. What is your school or district doing to provide the highest quality education for all students, even if it requires using a multi-media, multi-school, consortium approach to do so?
What is being done in your school, district, or state (for public schools) to prepare for the possible implementation of school vouchers? Could this be a financial disaster for your schools future financial stability? An article in NASSP indicates that this might be the biggest issue to face public education since public schools became a national mandate.
Are private schools in your area growing in number of church/school facilities and/or the number of students enrolled? How is this impacting you and your school?
Describe the tension or lack thereof between public and private school athletics. Can private school athletic teams compete on an equal basis with public school teams like in
the movie Facing the Giants? Has this become a new attraction for enrolling in private schools?
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Reply to the following:

  In looking at the road ahead in school finance for my specific school, I will address four components that have affected schools, and which must be considered moving forward: online learning, school vouchers, private school attendance, and possible competition of public versus private school athletics.

            In terms of online classes, my school has been forced to consider hybrid learning due to the pandemic. Teachers were forced to master the virtual format, and then had to master hybrid learning as schools started to return on-site and many families chose to remain virtual. Though the situation was not ideal, it has produced a paradigm shift of how we can implement learning that is best for all students; the data has shown many students thriving in the virtual setting. Currently, the online learning platform for our school is housed within my school campus. There have been talks within the district of offering online learning to our students with special needs who are not able to handle or tolerate a full day on-site. This would enable my school to keep student enrollment from decreasing or contracting with another facility to enroll students in their programs.

            School vouchers has been a largely debated issue in Arizona as voters have continually not passed school voucher bills to ensure monies stay within the public education sphere; however, Arizonas senator recently attempted to expand qualifications for vouchers to be made available to nearly half the students enrolled in public education in Arizona (Phillips, 2021). Being in a small, border town with a significant transient community, vouchers are always a concern for my district. My districts focus is on human capital by increasing the retention of highly-qualified teachers within the district which will have a positive impact on student achievement, making us more competitive to other private schools in the area.

            Currently there are nine private elementary and middle schools, and only three private high schools. This number has not increased recently, and typically enrollment between public and private schools has not significantly fluctuated; however, due to the pandemic and school closings, private schools were the first to open their doors when public schools remained closed. Many parents withdrew their students to home school or try to get their students into private schools. Therefore, enrollment at my school did take a slight dip which means the schools funds were less this year. For the 2021-2022 school year, my school is anticipating an increase in the enrollment, as we are an open enrollment school, meaning anyone in the district can attend our school whether they live within our district or not.

            Regarding school athletes attending public or private schools, there is only one private school in my town that has an athletic program versus the five high schools in the high school district that all have athletic programs. Therefore, there is no significant competition or attraction.

References

Phillips, M. (2021, February 03). Arizona lawmakers advance expansion of school vouchers. Abc15.com. https://www.abc15.com/news/state/arizona-lawmakers-advance-expansion-of-school-vouchers

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