Show Me The Money!

Good concise analysis from the New York City Charter School Center about how the law actually works with regard to profit-making and charter schools (pdf). Nationally (and in most locales except Michigan and Ohio) for-profit charter management organizations are such a small part of the charter school landscape that it’s amazing how much rhetoric is devoted to them.  In New York, for instance, despite all the hoopla about “privatization” just 9 percent of the schools have a relationship with a for-profit manager.

2 Replies to “Show Me The Money!”

  1. For many years we’ve had for-profit schools and government loans for the young adult population. As a result many middle and upper income students went to UC Berkeley while the poor kids went to Pay and Pass Technical Institute where they “graduated’ with few skills and lots of debt. Many of these students were unable to pay off their loans, which then fell to the taxpayers, who got nothing for their money.

    Yet, at the same time that the federal government is climbing out of the for-profit college mess, we are embarking on the same path for k-12. We can already see the results: charter managers absconding with the funds in California, low-income kids channeled into all-black test prep academies and affluent white kids safely protected from all this in their well-financed suburban schools. Teachers in these for-profit charter schools are “at-will,” low-paid and encouraged to move on after a few years. Teacher turnover in these schools is extremely high.

    If these schools take hold, we can be certain it will be the poor children who are in them. Civil rights groups, teachers, parents and other child advocates should fight hard to prevent the proliferation of for-profit schools. Public schools belong to the American people and they should remain so. Charter schools need to be run by educators and they ought to be non-profit with very strict oversight of the money.

    As school begins, I want to wish all those people who are actually in the classrooms with the kids a successful year. You are among our nation’s heroes and deserve the greatest respect and gratitude. I salute you and wish you the very best.

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