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A kindergarten class.
They deserve better.
Charter schools benefit from a massive double standard, taking public money without being subject to the regulations or oversight applied to traditional public schools. That lack of regulation and oversight has a cost, in students' educational experiences and in dollars. More than $100 million, as a new report from the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education shows. The report identifies six key types of abuse:
  • Charter operators using public funds illegally for personal gain:
    Joel Pourier, former CEO of Oh Day Aki Heart Charter School in Minnesota, who embezzled $1.38 million from 2003 to 2008. He used the money on houses, cars, and trips to strip clubs. Meanwhile, according to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the school “lacked funds for field trips, supplies, computers and textbooks.” A judge sentenced Mr. Pourier to 10 years in prison. Given the number of years, and the severity of the fraud, over a million dollars might have been saved had there been adequate charter oversight.
  • School revenue used to illegally support other charter operator businesses:
    For example, in 2012, the former CEO and founder of the New Media Technology Charter School in Philadelphia was sentenced to prison for stealing $522,000 in taxpayer money to prop up a restaurant, a health food store, and a private school.
  • Mismanagement that puts children in actual or potential danger:
    Ohio's State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard A. Ross, was forced to shut down two charter schools, The Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Boys Charter School and The Talented Tenth Leadership Academy for Girls Charter School, because, according to Ross, “They did not ensure the safety of the students, they did not adequately feed the students, they did not accurately track the students and they were not educating the students well. It is unacceptable and intolerable that a sponsor and school would do such a poor job. It is an educational travesty.”
  • Charters illegally requesting public dollars for services not provided:
    [New Jersey] officials shut down the Regional Experiential Academic Charter High School after the state found, according to report in the New York Times, “a wide range of problems, including failure to provide special education students with the services required by state and federal law.

Some charter schools have also been caught illegally inflating their enrollment to collect money for students who weren't actually in the schools, while others have been tagged for general mismanagement of funds.

While some of the most egregious cases are found out, leading in some cases to prison sentences as cited above, we have no way of knowing how many similar situations haven't yet come to light. And in most cases, a prison sentence for the wrongdoer is all very well, but it won't get back the money that was supposed to go to educating kids. That's why the report calls for oversight agencies with teeth, able to catch fraud and mismanagement and actually do something about it; for charters to face the same transparency requirements public schools do, including following state open meetings and open records laws; and for charters to be governed by elected boards including parents, teachers, and, for high schools, students. Right now, in too many states charters are like the Wild West. Charter advocates like that when it lets them cut costs, increase profits and keep teachers non-union and as powerless as possible, of course. That's why we see so many state legislatures rapidly expanding charters without expanding oversight. They may not like straight-up theft, but it's a risk they're willing to run for all the other benefits of weak oversight.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not surprised (4+ / 0-)

    I voted today because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:17:59 PM PDT

    •  Me neither (6+ / 0-)

      Isn't that the point of corporat charter schools?  
      No insight, just a transfer of wealth from public schools to the corporations that run them m
      This report is not surprising at all.
      Democracy Now reported this over 4 years ago.
      Just look at the big names involved in many charter schools.
      Greedy bastards taking money from the poorest neighborhood schools.

      Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama did not just pick up that 3:00 am phone call, but, as has been noted, he mostly stayed on the phone making war and sending out drones for his entire terms in office.

      by snoopydawg on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:31:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I taught at a charter school (13+ / 0-)

      in Texas for 3 years, and I don't claim my experience is representative of every charter school, but here's what went on where I worked:
      CEO paid $250,000 a year for a district with 2,000 students, she also expensed the district for first class air fair for her and her family for travel related to another of her businesses, paid her son with district money to be her personal driver. Meanwhile, I had 5 world history books in my classroom, and fewer books than students in almost every class.
      Purchased a building for a school with taxpayer funds and then leased it to her own church for $1 year to use on weekends.
      Students were given credit for classes not taught at the school. Students were given credit for online courses they did not complete. The district was once awarded four commercial grade salad bars as part of a healthy eating grant and they were put in storage and never used, I suspected they were eventually resold.
      I often had to buy supplies like paper to make copies. I always had between 6 and 8 "preps" a day, that means at least six separate lesson plans to prepare and often without a planning period so it was all on my own time. I even had four grade levels and four different classes to teach, in the same room at the same time and was expected to have them all ready for the standardized test at the end of the year.
      Teachers were constantly threatened with firing if their test scores did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress (a state measure the school had to meet). It was common for one-third or more of school faculty to be fired on the last day of school.
      Glad I got out and I can say working in a public school district is much better and the support for students much better than what I experienced at the charter.

    •  tina71 (0+ / 0-)

      <<<<>>>>>>
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  •  Charter Schools are a scam. (8+ / 0-)

    "Public education - that's a 500 billion dollar sector." -Rupert Murdoch

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:21:14 PM PDT

    •  Agreed. It's time to abolish charter schools. (7+ / 0-)

      As they exist today, they have gotten so far from the original intent as to be not just worthless but harmful. Here in Ohio, there's ten mediocre or failed trash schools for every good charter school. With public school systems, it's almost the flip. And the public school systems struggling the most have the highest number of trash schools sucking their resources. At a time when the educational funding pie is shrinking in Ohio, the slices are getting thinner and thinner so that every child is cheated, whether she is in a public or charter school.

      I think we need to admit this experiment has failed, absorb the good charters into the public schools as magnet schools (an experiment that has been successful but gets little public attention perhaps because it doesn't further the privatizers "reform" narrative), and shut the rest. Out of around 60 charter schools in Cleveland, I'll bet no more than a dozen could be considered successful. I can name a dozen public schools in this difficult, impoverished city that are, including one I pass every day that has such a record of success I know a city councilman from the white west side whose teenage daughter goes to this mostly black east side school.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:51:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Link? (0+ / 0-)
        I know a city councilman from the white west side whose teenage daughter goes to this mostly black east side school.

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:40:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  equal treatment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolffarmer

      what I want is for charter schools to be judged on the same basis of public schools.  For instance, a charter is judged is save money if it spends less per student than a public school. But that is wrong. If the charter school does not special education staff, or multiple impaired staff, or athletic, or career education, then the charter school only saves the district money if those costs are discounted.

      Charter schools also claim to get better resulted just by better methods, but what if they are really just choosing the students.  How many students are kicked out of charter school between Halloween and Thanksgiving? How many students are transferred in during the year, and how is that done.  These numbers indicate if they are culling students who will not succeed without expensive interventions.

      Most of what charter schools are doing has been done successfully in the public education system for 30 years. I have not seen any numbers that say they do it cheaper, discounting for the fact they are usually not a full service school.At best charter schools add capacity for selective schools without a huge amount of district capital.  At worst, they remove resources that are needed to provide an education to those kids who are most difficult to teach.

  •  The fraud, the corruption, the faked numbers (0+ / 0-)

    Well, our local public school systems have been afflicted with those for years.

    In fact, it was due to this gross incompetence and corruption that drove many parents to try to form public charter schools that would have been more independent from the district.  Of course, the district board rejected the proposal, despite 90% staff and parent support at the local schools.

    Who knows, maybe the district will get better after the most recent round of indictments and house cleaning.  We shall see...

    •  I'd hold up the record of public schools (5+ / 0-)

      nationwide against charter schools, as a percentage, any day of the week.

      You might have problems locally, but many public schools are operating well enough, given the pressure they are put under these days.

      We are finding corruption at charters schools all over the place.  Put a profit incentive behind a school, and guess what?  Kids get screwed.

      I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

      by coquiero on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:48:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No argument from me, but charter schools (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, nextstep

        should be an option when the district is grossly dysfunctional.  I'm not talking about a small local district   here either. The two "local" districts have over 150,000 students.  Our district was in imminent danger of being decertified as the latest in a long string of criminal administrators was under investigation.

        And please note: these would not be for-profit, private charters.  The public charter option is always ignored here as people erroneously equate charter schools with for-profit entities.

        •  Unfortunately in some states, even non profit (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26, Be Skeptical, coquiero

          charters are able to get in on the scam by paying exorbitant fees to corporations for services/materials provided to the schools.

          No doubt there are situations where charter schools may be an alternative to dysfunctional districts, but charter schools should not be allowed to avoid accountability in their academic outcomes or in their fiscal activities.  

          Charter schools that receive public funding should be held to the same standards as public schools and their records should provide full disclosure on their income and expenses.

          “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

          by ahumbleopinion on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:32:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I understand your frustration (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, Mostel26, coquiero

          But this is not unique to education.  It's a large system, and there will be some corruption.  I'm not saying we should tolerate it, but we shouldn't abandon the entire system either.  Especially for something as unproven, unregulated (and often for profit) as charter schools.

          It is only after a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize all situations can be resolved without violence.

          by gtnoah on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:40:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That isn't enough (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, FarWestGirl

          They also need to follow better rules and procedures than they are permitted to in most states. The charter system, as is, is systematic educational outsourcing to create an underemployment model for teachers.

          •  In our situation, the current teachers would have (0+ / 0-)

            been retained.  If anything, the academic standards would have been enhanced, and transparency in funding and spending would have been transformed.  As far as an unemployment model for teachers (90% of whom supported the proposed charter), wouldn't it be better for teachers to work in an environment where quality education is the number one goal of the district?    Wouldn't it be better for teachers, who would remain public school employees, to have the opportunity to work in a school setting where parents are no longer looking for an escape route, whether by sending their children to private school, home school, or relocating?  Averting those departures would surely enhance teachers' future job security.

            Are our children supposed to wait for the district to get its act together after decades of failure, mismanagement, and outright corruption?  

            •  As long as some bottom lines are observed......... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical, coquiero

              I'm all for the flexibility to drive a more quality educational model, but doing so at the expense of terms and conditions of work is a non-starter. In Pennsylvania, where I teach in a charter, charter schools teachers are not public school employees. If we were, and funded as such, I'd not be as critical of the model. As is, charter schools in Pennsylvania receive less than 65% of the funding per pupil spend in a public district ,pay substandard salaries, have no worker protections, can be run by any hack who wants to start a school, have inappropriately long work days, extended school years. I'm fortunate enough to work for folks who were interested in running a high-quality school that happened to be based on a smaller learning environment model with an emphasis on discovery based education. We have a full comprehensive academic program, a school year that conforms to that of the local district, and a good deal of autonomy to develop our own curriculum. We're also saddled with salaries that are 1/3 under those paid to the better districts in our county, paltry tuition reimbursement, a 45 minute longer work day, no due process in discipline and/or termination by administration, and far too often asked to teach too many different preps with too few planning periods.  Our turnover, although far from bad, is far too high in a few certification areas to guarantee students the experienced veteran teacher they deserve.  

              I can't speak to the rules for charters in your state, but charter school law in PA creates an underemployment system.

              I'm all for a charter system if we're talking about the original model; a laboratory of innovation. There are a variety of ways to develop new curriculum and instructional models for students that don't have to be abusive of labor and cause a school to become a turnover factory. Give me a state with a charter school law that allows any charter school to open with the proviso of keeping existing terms and conditions of work for teachers along with their bargaining unit and you'll have a good system. There also needs to be a commitment to fund those schools with at least the same funding level going to public schools.  If one were to set up a charter school system in that manner; that would be an excellent system.

              •  Thank you for this thoughtful response (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mostel26, coquiero

                I agree with you on almost everything.  Per pupil spending is not always a good marker of per pupil learning. In some districts, way too much is spent on superfluous administrators and non-teaching functions.  

                Your pupils are fortunate to benefit from your passion and commitment.

              •  Maryland law requires charter schools (0+ / 0-)

                to abide by the negotiated agreements in place in the districts where they are.  This came about in the 90's when Baltimore City turned some of its failing schools over to charters.  One of the first things that happened was for the charter co. to lower wages which resulted in high rates of staff turnover and constant churn.  People would literally only stay for a few months than leave when they got a better job.  Thus the legislature passed a law saying that the charters had to pay the same wages and benefits to their teachers that the public school teachers got.

                This law created a situation a year or two ago when the KIPP (I believe it was KIPP--could be wrong) schools, who require their teachers to work a 60 hour week --10 hour days plus Saturday, did not want to pay a salary that would reflect the longer hours (teachers felt they should be paid 50% more since their hours were 50% more than that of public school teachers).  An agreement was reached that teachers would be paid 30% more.

                We don't have a lot of charters in MD.  My district, the largest in the state, refused to allow charters but was finally forced to due to a lawsuit.  One charter was opened 2 years ago that is closing this year because the school did not meet the requirements it was supposed to meet which included issues with the building and the hiring of properly certified staff.

                “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                by musiclady on Sat May 10, 2014 at 05:44:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  School Board Elections (0+ / 0-)

              If the voters in your district are tired of the mismanagement, they can feel free to vote in a new school board that will manage that district in a manner more to the public's liking.

              •  A reason the district went under was due to the (0+ / 0-)

                school board's gross neglect.  The same incompetent crew kept getting re-elected.  Sadly, most voters pay almost no attention to school board elections.  Eventually, the governor ordered the board to be discharged and appointed a new board, a solution I was not wild about but felt had to be done.  

              •  Really? And how will that work in Chicago (0+ / 0-)

                where the mayor appoints the school board.

                I notice I haven't mentioned yet that Rahmie can bite me for the utter destruction of the school system that educated me. Screw you, Rahmie, or as my sister calls him, "I didn't vote for him!"

                Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

                by anastasia p on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:08:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Those districts need the resources to improve and to provide additional services to students more than most (those districts are almost uniformly poor) and can least afford to have some of their funding  stripped for charter schools, which — particularly if they accept all students — tend not to provide any better quality education than the public schools. It makes no sense to split the funding so that ALL students, whether in public or charter schools, are cheated. It's inefficient and the worst way to provide education.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:56:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  if the public school is in an affluent suburb, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irocdk, banjolele, rexxnyc

        chances are virtually 100% it's successful. Even in my inner-ring suburb, where the schools' official rankings, based on standardized test scores, tend to fluctuate because some of the student body comes from challenging situations, the schools offer an excellent education to the students who want to take advantage of it.

        At a time when education funding is being cut, I don't see how anyone justifies dedicating a piece of that for private profit.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:54:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  there's alot of reasons to hate charter schools (0+ / 0-)

      Over public schools. I don't think this is one of the reasons.

  •  I thought the private sector fixed everything? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, Mostel26, mcstowy

    So, government is NOT the problem, President Reagan.


    Caution: Reality in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

    by glb3 on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:28:00 PM PDT

  •  which is why the republicans love the charters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    so much...easy money, no responsibility, total bullshit.

    Les Paul, NOT Rand Paul!

    by old mark on Tue May 06, 2014 at 02:04:48 PM PDT

  •  Stealing public money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    is not a flaw of charter schools, it is a FEATURE of charter schools.  That is their business, after all.

  •  So glad that this is getting covered LC.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irocdk, slatsg

    ..I have a Diary up on charter schools based on a rant by a teacher/writer:
    Cashing in on the Charter School Movement - a rant a carpenter can understand

    He lists these abuses stemming from private for profit from a different angle but along very much the same lines as posted here:

    Charter schools benefit from a massive double standard, taking public money without being subject to the regulations or oversight applied to traditional public schools.

    Thx Laura Clawson

  •  corporatist money-laundering by quasi-non-profit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, irocdk

    institutional networks in collusion with kleptocratic school districts

    Charter schools benefit from a massive double standard, taking public money without being subject to the regulations or oversight applied to traditional public schools.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:41:20 PM PDT

  •  Our Schools (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anime1973, rexxnyc

    Our Open Internet

    Our Right to Privacy

    All threatened like never before.... under a Democratic administration.

  •  failure (3+ / 0-)

    In the 1950s, if a kid failed a test, he was punished.  Now, if a kid fails a test, the teacher gets punished.  Schools started to fail when they started to get integrated--it seems poor kids often have disadvantages--who knew?  Not having money to travel leads to less knowledge of geography.  Not getting an allowance means not knowing how to make change.  Not having parents with much leisure time means less trips to the library.  Being poor means less trips to sporting events and movie theaters.  Many kids have to work to supplement family income.
    That's just a small list of disadvantages--government response lately is to ignore all of this, blame the teachers and the schools.  Eliminate poverty would be a better idea--but that's out of vogue--you see, poverty is the fault of parents, not of society.  Bullshit.
    Charter schools are a way to look like a problem is being addressed without spending much money--and without eliminating poverty.  Also, many parents buy into the premise--so it's even good politically.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:50:32 PM PDT

  •  The free market self-regulates. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexxnyc

    Bwaa-ha--ha-ha-ha........

    Obi Ben Ghazi to House Republicans: "Use the Farce."

    by edg on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:56:00 PM PDT

  •  Really in the dumps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, Wolffarmer, rexxnyc

    because a friend of mine who was running for the state legislature, worked her butt of for a year, and would have been a fantastic addition to our general assembly lost by a fairly small margin in her primary to a lazy, unresponsive "Democrat" into whose campaign Michelle Rhee and her laughably named "Students First" dumped a lot of money in the last few weeks. We're waiting to find out how much, but it may have been six figures. Rhee basically purchased a Democratic privatizer to carry her water and crap on Cleveland area students.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Fri May 09, 2014 at 08:02:02 PM PDT

  •  Not only the money is lost, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wolffarmer

    but the opportunity to educate those kids is lost.  Kids grow up and get older...if someone screws up their education there's no way to go back in time and fix it; it's a game of catch-up from there forward.

    So how do judges and juries compensate for that?

    Far better to keep our children's education out of the hands of profit-makers.

  •  This (3+ / 0-)
    Weak charter school oversight leads to fraud and mismanagement
    This is the key statement. I would add though, "Where" at the front of that sentence.

    Laura, I've gotten to the point that I don't usually read your Charter hit pieces. You are never around to participate in a discussion in the diaries you write and you paint this wide generalization of Charter Schools as if it was the same in ever state.

    It's not.

    As I've said before, and what the hell, I'll say it again, it's not the same in every state. We have very strong Charter law here in California. There is still room for improvement, but overall we do not have the problems you post about ever week.

    I've been teaching for 31 years now, the past 15 for a Charter school.

    Just off the top of my head:
    1. We, by law, have to accept all students. We can not, and do not turn anyone away.*
    2. We accept all students with special needs (see #1), my daughter who has Cerebral Palsy goes to our elementary school. (Had her IEP meeting today in fact).
    3. We are not union, but could join the union at any time if we, as a teaching staff, felt we needed to.
    4. We do not offer busing, neither does any of the other schools in our area. (this is often brought up as a gripe against Charters)
    5. All teachers, by law, are credentialed.
    6. We are public schools.

    I know I'm missing some of the typical complaints I hear, here about Charters. Please feel free to post them in a rely and I'll respond.

    * the one caveat to that is that in some of our programs we have a limit as to how many we can take, only because of space. For those programs we use a lottery, which again, is state law.  

    Where I feel we still need improvement here in California is with regards to for profit Charters. There are not a lot of them, we have 6 Kipp school around the state and Green Dot in LA. We've come close a few times to outlawing them but the legislation has died up in Sacramento. I'd like to see us try again to get that passed.

    Charter schools aren't bad if you have state law to make them not bad is my point. I really feel for those of you that live in states with weak Charter laws, but please, understand that the problem is Charter schools it is bad regulations that are the problem.

  •  Who could have expected that there might be a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexxnyc

    conflict between schools, whose goal is to educate their students as much as possible, and private enterprise, whose goal is to get as much money as possible out of their customers?

  •  Our grand jury investigated charter schools (0+ / 0-)

    last year.  Out of four, we found one excellent one, one that seemed OK yet closed down this year (run by a good university), and one that closed the previous year of which the guy that started it turned around and started another one in the same county.  This one turned out to barely have an academic curriculum and seemed to be in place as a vanity school to be the ego of the guy in charge.  It's like he wanted his kids to go somewhere where they could play on sports teams.  Several years later they are struggling for students and who knows how good their finances are since they don't have to answer to anyone.  We had to subpoena the administrator to get him to appear.

    Here's one problem.  The town turned down his charter and the county turned around and approved it.  So he is now their problem.  If the county had turned him down he could have appealed to the state and gotten approval which would have made him the state's problem.  I think that if the locals turn down a charter, the county and state should ask "why"?  If he can't get something past those who may know him, could there possibly be a reason?

    The whole thing stinks.  Schools are getting chartered that suck and can manage their finances without oversight without having to accept low performing students. They take money away from the public schools that must accept everyone. They also give a black eye to the good charter schools that do a great job.

    How the hell do we fork money and responsibility of educating our children to those who can be given our facilities for free and don't have to answer to anyone?

    The one school that shut down did so on the first day of school fall semester.  No notice, just a sign on the door when the students and teachers showed up.  They still owe the teachers and staff money.

  •  Kinda like the "charter" prison system, huh... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexxnyc

    Or maybe the "charter" big corporations or banks.  

    Neocon politicians really know how to give their rich cronies our taxpayer dollars.  Also heard that a lot of these charter schools are very "selective" in which students they admit...not like non-profit public schools, which take all students.

    This country had a very good public school system before neocon politicians and their greedy campaign donors got a stranglehold of our government in 1980.  We also had what was known then as "private" schools for anyone who wanted to send their children to alternative schools.  The difference was that parents paid for the tuition out of their pockets and didn't squeeze public schools out of federal funding.

    Neocon politicians will fight oversight of these schools, just like they fight regulating anything else that might offend their greedy campaign donors.  Dog doesn't eat dog and they're getting plenty of bucks from their rich puppetmasters to divert federal funds into their offshore tax shelters.

    •  Most public schools are still good (0+ / 0-)

      though all the charters and NCLB are weakening them

      US kids do just as well as their peers in France or Germany, when adjusted for income

      we have more poor kids

      and our poor kids are in the most underfunded districts

      •  Well, isn't that what neocon politicians want? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rexxnyc

        To "starve the beast" and break down all Federal agencies except the military, police and justice systems...just enough "big government" to control and punish the poor and desperate 99% forced to work as under-paid slaves in their big corporate gulag.  

        Good educations will be reserved for the kleptocrat "overlords"...the worker ants can "service" their needs even without an education...and no getting a "comfortable hammock" to fall back into, either, since less for us, more for them.

        Another advantage neocon politicians will get by defunding public schools is an even more ignorant voter base than they already have, since in red states, the tax-hating crazycons will get what they pay for.

  •  Bad things happen in (0+ / 0-)

    public schools.  Also charter schools.

  •  Surprise surprise (0+ / 0-)

    For a year I lived with my daughter and grandkids who at the time, 7 and 9 years old were enrolled in a charter "school". In that one year those kids learned exactly nothing, their math skills were non existent, they barely knew their ABC's and were taught in school rain was caused by god.
    Since then my daughter moved to another town where the kids go to public school and are both now 8 and 10  reading at about a 5th grade level.
    We're going to have at least one lost generation and possibly more thanks to the miracle of bible age technology from charter "schools".

    Jesus only performs miracles for people with enough time on their hands to make that crap up.

    by KneecapBuster on Fri May 09, 2014 at 09:42:48 PM PDT

  •  Dukenfield's Law (0+ / 0-)

    "If a thing is worth winning, it's worth cheating for."

  •  Wake up people. (0+ / 0-)

    The private sector can do everything better than the public sector.
    I am now off to wash my mouth out.
    Charter schools, privatizing Social Security, turning toll roads over to corporations. and many others. ALL are just a way for money managers to get their hands on the public money to make it disappear into their greed invested scams.

  •  I do not support Charter Schools, but (0+ / 0-)

    I do not think all charter schools in all parts of the country are engaging in this kind of "profit skimming" that clearly is happening in some parts of the country; however I do agree that the whole concept of directing public money into corporate pockets often leads to this kind of corruption.  

    I do not support Charter Schools because I believe they lack oversight by the public, because the concept is antithetical to free and open public schools, because they tend to be exploited by wealthier parents as a "free" dodge for actually paying the cost of a private education.  

    But I do know of some small charter schools out here that are run by parents and that do not produce the kind of profit skimming or resource skimming that is described here.  These people are, in my view, very well-meaning but severely misguided and cheap.  

    My very nice friends pay $5K in property taxes and send their three kids to charter school.  The actual cost of a private education for the three would be somewhere between $33K - $75K based on the local market of similar private schools.  The local school district transfers $8K per child to the charter school.  The charter is a great deal for them, but a terrible deal for society.  

    I am the product of private education.  My parents paid their property taxes to support the local public schools and paid then many multiples of that tax to send us all to private schools.  I have no children and happily pay my property taxes to support my local public schools.  My parents taught me that this is the proud obligation of all citizens, because access to free education is the bedrock of American society and prosperity.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat May 10, 2014 at 07:23:54 AM PDT

  •  I feel like we are going backwards. This sort of (0+ / 0-)

    corruption was commonplace when we did not have public schools.  Now instead of taking the private donations meant for schools we have people taking tax dollars earmarked for education.  It's the same con only a new way of stealing the money.

    Now if the shoe was on the other foot ala "welfare", the GOP would say "see this fraud is why we should get rid of the charter school program".  I find it interesting that many address the fraud stories we see popping up wherever charter schools are mismanaged with the idea of not killing the programs but instead demanding oversight.

  •  Not only won't it get back the money (0+ / 0-)

    It won't get back the time in the lives of those children that are being harmed at a crucial time in their lives. They are the ones that will suffer from this more than anyone.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sat May 10, 2014 at 08:54:33 AM PDT

  •  Charter Schools are legalized theft. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexxnyc

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:02:06 AM PDT

  •  Massive fraud (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rexxnyc, BeninSC

    Charter schools are a classic recipe for fraud and misuse of public funds, not to mention a good conduit to grease the palms of campaign contributors and friends/family of school board highups.

    Harmony Schools of Science being a classic example - http://www.nytimes.com/...

  •  Charter Schools (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeninSC

    I notice no charter school parents have posted.  My kids' DC charter school provides a wonderful education to a diverse student body.  Ms. Clawson, a DC resident, should get out and visit some of these charter schools.  40% of DC school kids attend charter schools - their parents are voting with their feat.

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