The Obama administration could help turn this fatal tide. Stimulus funds could be used to shore up schools on the brink, provide assistance to their teachers and administrators, or expand and replicate promising local strategies. The president could support education tax credits or scholarships, which would help needy students and stabilize school enrollments. By simply underscoring his support and concern for these schools, he would indicate the bipartisan nature of this issue, thereby providing cover to others eager to act but wary of the political implications.
The authors say that local solutions aren't the answer -- though it's not as though the Nixon faithful haven't been laboring in those vineyards as well, especially Peter Flanigan, founder of New York City's Student-Sponsor Partnership program, which raises private funds to help inner-city kids pay their tuition.