President Bush's education bill will pass Congress, but apparently without the voucher provision the president wanted so parents might give their children the best education available, regardless of financial circumstances. Help is on the way, though, but not from government.
It's a new initiative crafted by former Secretary of Education William Bennett called K12. As described on the K12 Web site (www.k12.com), it will ‘‘provide a comprehensive curriculum and innovative instructional tools that help caring adults provide an educational foundation for their children at home.''
The cost will be a fraction of declining government schools ($6,000 a year on average) and private schools (which range from $3,000 to $12,000 and higher). K12 begins this fall for kindergarten, first- and second-grade children. Additional grades will be added each year until it reaches 12th grade in 2004. The cost is $1,095 per year, with discounts for multiple children and early registration.
What children will get for the money is so much more than what the monopolistic government schools offer. First, the teacher-student ratio can't be beat. The content is superb, as one might expect from Bennett, whose writings on virtue and classical education are bestsellers. The materials are designed so students may progress toward their goals at their own pace; one size does not fit all. The courses can also be used as supplements for private and government schools and for students who otherwise might have to attend summer school.