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Professor argues for student access to more elementary and secondary school choices

Merrimack College professor Dan Butin, the founding dean of the School of Education & Social Policy, believes the decisions parents make when choosing to which elementary and secondary schools they will send their children leads into the question of fairness for all students across the socio-economic spectrum.

There is a dizzying array of choices from which parents can choose, including public, private, parochial, and charter schools focused on the performing arts.

Often the deciding factor for parents is affordability.

“This, it seems to me, is the real debate,” Butin said in his contribution to a story about choosing between public and private schools published on at “And, unfortunately, all too often most parents, and especially parents that do not have the financial means and who live in urban and rural communities with under-resourced and over-stressed school systems, do not have the luxury of a variety of high-quality schooling options.”

The American educational system is making progress in school choice but the debate should include how options can be offered to more parents and students, Butin said.