BREAKING THE CHARTER SCHOOL MYTH

 

People constantly speak and write about the advantage charter schools have over the public school system. Statements that they don’t take tests or educate tough children, all while getting the same funding as public schools are common in the press. These myths have no foundation to stand on.

You’re not the boss of me.

Charter Schools operate under the control of the local School Board

Charter Schools operate under the control of the local School Board

For the record, charter schools are public schools and their sponsor (boss) is the local public school system. For administering the charter the sponsor receives 5% of the charter schools funding.

Money, Money, Money

Charter Schools receive less funding.

Charter Schools in Florida receive only 65% of what public schools receive per student.

Charter schools receive 65 cents of the school dollar. The other 35 cents stays with the school district (sponsor). An administration fee is taken out of the 65 cents. To make this clear the public school system receives $10,000 per student, charter schools receive only $6,150. (State of Florida, numbers rounded for clarity.)

Number 2 Pencils

Charter School students take the same statewide tests.

Charter School students take the same statewide tests.

Charter schools take all the same tests because they are public schools. The main difference is that if a charter school does not do well on their tests, they can be closed down by their sponsor.

Charter Schools receive higher scrutiny.

Charter Schools receive higher scrutiny.

Upper Crust.  Jackets with Coat of Arms.

Over 70% of charter schools service low socio-economic areas. They are expected to do more with less and educate the toughest of students. By all accounts, they are doing more than an adequate job. In many cases charter schools are leading all of the district schools. This is a fact not taken lightly.

The Ugly Truth.

Charter School Expansion Denied

Charter School Expansion Denied

In St. Lucie County we have an A rated high school that applied to operate a middle school and was turned down. One of the worst districts in the state is turning down a highly qualified school expansion. Just part of the charter school world and the myths that run wild in the imagination of those promoting the status quo and resisting positive change.

What does the district do with that extra $3,500 they get from the backs of every charter school student? No one knows the answer to that most obvious question.

Why are we writing about this today? These are your children, your grandchildren, your communities, your tax dollars, and our future.

Because this Matters!


(Editor’s Note) Public schools that do not score well do not get closed and many times reap the rewards of additional funding to correct the issue. This highlights government at its worst. Failure is not something to be ashamed of but something that just requires more tax dollars to fix.  In the private sector failure means the need for change, new players, new design, new methods, and ultimately better products.  In the public sector failure leads to more money and lowering the bar of success.  In essence, this defines what we have seen over the past 35 years in education, since the federal Dept. of Education was formed by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Current budget $70 Billion.

 

Take the time to view two 2010 documentaries. The Lottery and Waiting for Superman. Both are about education in this country. Both received critical acclaim. Both also received harsh criticism, mainly from unions that represent teachers.

In St. Lucie County the November 2016 election will include three school board members.  Electing the same people and expecting change is not usually the best strategy.

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