Metro Touts School-Choice Lottery Ahead of Vouchers Push

Metro Schools will hold its lottery tomorrow for thousands of students hoping to get into certain popular schools. The district is touting the revamped lottery as part of a push to give families lots of options. It comes as state lawmakers are pondering a vouchers program that would send more kids to private schools.

Backers of the vouchers idea say it could help poor kids trapped in failing schools, by giving them another option, and helping them afford a private education instead.

But Metro spokeswoman Meredith Libbey says a quarter of students in the district – around 20 thousand – don’t stick with their default school. Libbey argues that means they’re already taking advantage of a choice.

“We always tell parents ‘First look at your zoned school. It’s probably better than you think it is.’ But we have more students (choosing) in Davidson County alone than are using vouchers in the entire state of Ohio.”

To be fair to Ohio, its program is on track to grow this year. Skeptics of vouchers worry such programs will divert money that would otherwise go to public schools.

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