Sunday, February 24, 2013

Does Hillsboro Accept Transfer Students?

In the Feburary meeting of the Hillsboro School District Board of Directors, the board voted to "participate" in the state law that allows student transfers between districts. Great news, right? Think of all the choices this opens up for the students!

Except for one minor complication. The district has an agreement with all the major nearby districts-- Forest Grove, Beaverton, Tigard-Tualatin, and Sherwood-- to not accept transfers from each others' schools. Since these districts constitute the vast majority of those students geographically close enough to consider a transfer, this agreement in effect nullifies Hillsboro's participation in the state law.

It's easy to see why they do this-- unions love the security of monopolistically dividing up territory and guaranteeing control and stability. While any other kind of business (including private schools!) must face a competitive marketplace and live or die based on whether the customers choose them, the public schools see themselves as some alternate universe immune from basic economic principles and incentives.

This is why the two most conservative board members (Wayne Clift and Monte Akers) rejected the participation vote: if the district is going to effectively block nearly all transfers, it's an act of deception to stage a public vote to comply with the transfer law. It was especially disgusting that board member Lantz vocally stated that the vote was to comply with "the spirit of the law", when she in fact was doing the exact opposite, complying with the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit.

When you are deciding who to vote for in May's school board elections, be sure to keep this vote in mind. Reward Monte Akers for his stand in favor of honesty, and show members Lantz and Sollman that you will not tolerate these kinds of deceptive tactics.