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Choosing a School

Pete Springer/OPB

Anecdotal evidence suggests more parents in Oregon are choosing to send their kids to private schools. Many of them cite growing class sizes and budget cuts in public schools as their reasons for making a switch. At the same time, a new law makes it easier for public school students in the state to transfer from one district to another. Districts must announce the number of transfer students they’ll accept by March 1. Private school enrollment deadlines are even earlier and most parents who have chosen private education for their kids for the next school year already have their applications in.

The debate about the merits of public vs. private education is nothing new, but the “open enrollment” policy that went into effect earlier this year opens up even more choices in Oregon.

Under the new law, public school districts must allow students to transfer out, but they have a choice about whether or not to let new students in. Smaller districts such as West Linn-Wilsonville have chosen to open up slots to transfer students, while larger districts like Beaverton are sitting out the open enrollment process this year. Portland Public Schools will decide this week whether to participate.

Are you a parent? How did you choose a school for your child? What factors do you weigh when making this kind of decision? Did you attend public or private school? How does your experience inform the choices you make for your kids?


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