If you had a school that underperforms, aka does not produce skilled graduates, then how do you go about getting a quality education for the affected students?

One approach is to get those students out of chronically low-performing or failing schools and into better ones – at least this is how New Jersey is dealing with its problems of underperforming public schools.

The Opportunity Scholarship Act: A Shot at a Better Education?

The Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA) aims to help low-income students get out of underperforming schools and attend a public or non-public school with a better track record. The OSA does this by granting tax credits to companies, which in turn will pay the tuition of students from low-income families covered by the plan.

Now the definition of an underperforming school is one with a 40% failure rating in both math and language arts over the past two years. A 65% failure rating in just one area will be enough to slap an underperforming tag on the school.

While the OSA has been passed, the details of the program have yet to be ironed out. There have also been changes to the latest version of the OSA: the number of participating school districts was cut down from a whopping thirty to a more manageable seven – Newark, Camden, Passaic, Elizabeth, Lakewood, Asbury Park and Orange.

Still, this is a good opportunity for single mothers to get their children into a better school should it be implemented. The OSA is looking to offer assistance of $8,000 total for K-8 students and $11,000 for high school students, which can be a really big help – especially since that money will be used to bring a child to a better school.

Now we only need to wait and see what the final product will look like and how the application process will go.

Image Courtesy of: NJE3

Last updated: March 26, 2012 by & filed under Blog

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