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Lost & Found

Found: Basset Hound, Hwy. 97 W./Hospital Blvd., Floresville. Call 830-391-2153 between 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Lost: Female German Shepherd, about 2 years old, pink collar, lost from Hickory Hill/Great Oaks Subdivisions off FM 539, La Vernia, on Thurs., Feb. 4. Reward! 830-947-3465.
Bear, please come home! Missing since October 22, 2014, black Manx cat (no tail), shy. Reward! Help him find his way home. 210-635-7560.
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Help Wanted

Immanuel Lutheran Church is now hiring for a Youth and Family Ministry Director. Pastoral: Minister to youth and their families during Sunday School and other church programs, being present in their lives outside the church walls, available for common concerns and in crisis situations. Leadership: Recruit and nurture Youth and Family Ministry program. Administration : Manage the planning process and coordinate with Pastor and Youth Committee all regular ministries to youth and their families. This includes youth of all ages on Sunday mornings and mid-week events; assisting with Confirmation, special events, trips and retreats, and parent meetings. Stewardship: Ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of youth programs, manage youth ministry budget, and collaborate with the sponsors of each Youth group. Ability to build, lead, and empower youth. Ability to implement a ministry vision. Familiarity with Lutheran Doctrine required; must be comfortable teaching it and representing Lutheran Theology. Proficient computer skills using MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, database, email, internet, and social media. Supervisory experience preferred. Ability to adapt and evaluate curriculum preferred. Must have excellent organization, communication (verbal and written), and listening skills, with a high degree of initiative and accountability. Exceptional interpersonal and relational skills required, with sensitivity to church members and visitors. Understanding and enjoyment of youth and families and guiding their spiritual development. Please send resumes to immanuellavernia@gmail.com or call 830-253-8121.
Warning: While most advertisers are reputable, some are not. Unfortunately the Wilson County News cannot guarantee the products or services of those who buy advertising space in our pages. We urge our readers to use great care, and when in doubt, contact the San Antonio Better Business Bureau, 210-828-9441, BEFORE spending money. If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, contact the Consumer Protection Office of the Attorney General in Austin, 512-463-2070.
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Section A: General News


Editorial: Give parents the choice: quality education




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Guest Editorial
January 30, 2013 | 1,170 views | Post a comment

By James Golsan

Attempts to expand access to private schools are often viewed as an assault on public education. The reality is that private choice programs benefit both participating students and the surrounding public schools as well.

This can be seen in the privately funded Edgewood Horizon Scholarship Program that offered scholarships to students living within San Antonio’s Edgewood school district from 1998 to 2008.

During the first six years of the program’s operation, math test scores of participating students jumped 28 percent, and reading scores improved by 21 percent. Ninety one percent of scholarship recipients attended some college.

What is more impressive is the positive impact competition had on the district’s public schools. From 1998 to 2004, Edgewood’s graduation rate jumped from 57 percent to 80 percent. According to a University of Texas at San Antonio study, more than half of those gains were directly attributable to the scholarship program.

Additionally, the district’s dropout rate fell by more than 30 percent during the run of the program, and in a competitive environment teacher pay in Edgewood ISD’s public schools rose by 37 percent, far out-stripping salary gains made in surrounding districts. When you couple those elements with the increasing property values and local revenues experienced during this time frame, the broad potential benefits of school choice are apparent.

These results are not unique to Texas. A recent study by the Florida Department of Education determined the education scholarship program running in their state had been of benefit to their public education system, and saved the state $38.9 million in 2008 alone.

As the Texas Legislature prepares to kick off for the 83rd time, it must keep in mind that strengthening Texas education is not achieved by pouring more money into the system. From 1999 to 2009, Texas increased its public school spending by 95 percent. During that stretch, the state did not experience meaningful academic gains at either the 4th or 8th grade levels, per the National Assessment for Education Progress. We also failed to improve our ACT or SAT scoring for our secondary level students. A new approach is needed.

The revised approach should be one that empowers parents to choose an education pathway that most appropriately fits the needs of their child. The best way to achieve that is comprehensive choice reform that addresses both public and private education.

We must remove the hard cap of 215 on our open enrollment charter schools. We must bring private education scholarships to Texas so that lower income families and families of students with special needs have access to quality private schools. And we must expand learning technologies in this state so that these reforms can positively impact families and students in both urban and rural Texas.

Providing these options for parents is not an attack on our public schools, but is rather an attempt to make Texas education, as a whole, stronger. That is ultimately what both sides in this debate want. The more education advocates and lawmakers keep this in mind, the better our chances are of bringing concrete, meaningful reform and improvement to Texas education.

James Golsan is policy analyst for the Center for Education Policy with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit, free-market research institute based in Austin. He may be reached at jgolsan@texaspolicy.com.
 

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