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The Denver Post

State No. 8 in education funding
September 20, 2000

By Percy Ednalino

Colorado is considered the eighth-best state in the nation when it comes to educational options for parents, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Education Freedom Index is the first-ever ranking of the 50 states according to how much freedom parents have in determining their children's education. The study, which was released by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, examines ways in which states can enhance educational freedom.

"What makes this more than just the equivalent to a ranking of livable cities is that this is an index that is actually related to something important to people in the world," said Dr. Jay Greene, author of the report and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

"What matters is not that Colorado can say, "Hooray, we're in the top 10.' It's that Colorado can say, "We're on the right path for doing things to help improve student achievement.' "

The five types of educational options the index measures are: charter school options, government-assisted private school options, home-schooling options, ease with which one can choose a different public school district by relocating, and ease with which one can send a child to a different public school district without changing residence.

Each category contributes to one-fifth of a state's overall index score. Colorado scored 2.42, while Arizona topped the nation with a 3.27 mark.

Greene said two reasons for Colorado's high ranking are the state's large number of charter schools and the interdistrict options available. The state finished in the middle of the pack in private school and home-schooling options, and was ranked among the bottom tier of schools in relocation, which included factors such as how large each school district is.

©2001 The Denver Post



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