Copyright (c) 1997 Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University Law Journal
ARTICLE: Home Rule School Districts: an Opportunity for Meaningful Reform or Simple Window Dressing?
21 S. Ill. U. L. J. 255
Charles W. Goldner, Jr. *
Reform of public education is the politicians' current battle cry. In the recently concluded presidential campaigns, one heard President Clinton calling for school uniforms 1 and former Senator Robert Dole praising the idea of school vouchers. 2 States and local school districts are creating charter schools as part of this reform effort. 3 Schools granted charter status adopt programs and rules which apply only within that school rather than district or state- wide. 4 Charter schools may also be exempted from some state statutes and regulations, such as laws governing maximum class size. 5 Freeing the occasional school from state dictates does not go far enough according to some reformers. Some believe the entire school district should be freed from the state-imposed strait jacket of regulation. Granting home rule authority is currently touted as a sure method of improving education by freeing local school districts from state red tape and mandates. Texas, at the urging of its governor, 6 recently enacted legislation granting school districts in the state statutory authority to become home rule school districts. 7 The Kansas legislature considered granting school districts home rule authority but did not. 8 The California legislature approved legislation authorizing home rule for California school districts, although Governor Wilson vetoed one of the two bills required for the authorization to become law. 9 A member of the governing board of a Florida school district has proposed that the Florida legislature authorize home rule authority for its school districts. ...
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