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Business Getting Involved in Education Policy Debate

Chaaron Pearson on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 5:13:15 pm

Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper, is pushing forward with an aggressive educational policy agenda despite that school districts are being handed cuts of $400 per student.

One reason that Governor Hickenlooper can move ahead with his aggressive education agenda is because of local business buy-in. Corporations in Colorado have been increasingly interested in education policy.

Last year, Colorado passed a statewide “teacher effectiveness” law that ties pay to performance and makes it easier to fire poorly performing teachers. The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry played a significant role in pushing it through the legislature. Loren Furman, vice president of governmental relations for the association says that business wants to help shape the structure and substance of education in ways that create a skilled workforce in the years ahead and they are content to leave education professions to negotiate proper funding levels.

The Florida Chamber has been ramping up their involvement with education policy due to response from the business community survey citing “a talented workforce” as its top policy priority ahead of taxes and regulations. This led to chamber support of bills aimed at increasing access to charter schools and online learning and also teacher pay for performance – which passed this session.

At the same time chambers and the business community have increased their education policy involvement, state chambers, such as the Florida Chamber and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, found themselves supporting a state budget with steep cuts to education.

Read more:
Stateline.org: Business moves to center of school debate
Florida Chamber: Education and Talent Development
Pennsylvania Chamber: Education Policy
US Chamber: Education and Workforce Training Issues

Past PCH blogs on education:
States looking closely at for-profit colleges
State aid shrinks for community colleges as demand rises
Chamber supports Pre-K initiative
Private school vouchers making a comeback
Oklahoma Governor Opposes 744
Race to the Top and Common Curriculum
Race to the Top Winners Announced
Rhode Island School Cleans House
Oklahoma Education Funding
Kentucky Chambers Post-Secondary Education Affordability
Community Colleges See Swelling Ranks
Prepaid College in Texas
Pittsburg Tuition Tax Proposal
Texas Biz Partners to Address Dropouts

Tags: education

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