'Taxpayers and students first'

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BDN articles on statewide public school open enrollment imply that the situation is bad for the Beloit school district. No consideration is given to whether it's good for the students or taxpayers involved.

School districts outside of Beloit benefit from open enrollment because they can maximize the number of students (and per student state aid) per teacher without creating additional bureaucracy. Thus, outside districts can pay their lower-paid teachers better while reducing the burden their local taxpayers.

Students generally receive a better education outside of Beloit, as witnessed by reading and math competency scores and graduation rates. The students that remain in Beloit enjoy lower classroom sizes, so students coming from impoverished homes, and English Language Learner (ELL) students can, as needed, receive more teacher attention.

No local funding must be secured to educate students who transfer out of Beloit. History suggests that if Beloit retained all students, it wouldn't improve educational outcomes, or save the Beloit taxpayer any money. Ending open enrollment would only be used to justify re-opening closed schools, hiking teacher salaries and benefits that are already better than those in the surrounding districts, and maintaining a top-heavy, bloated and highly paid education bureaucracy.

At the end of the day, the interests of the students and taxpayers ought to receive the most consideration.

Joel Steinke

Beloit

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