By Marshall Tuck: This year, we have a chance to help students and protect taxpayers across California, and I hope we don’t miss it. The California State Legislature is currently considering whether to ban for-profit charter schools. Educators — whether at district or charter public schools — can agree: public schools must serve students, not shareholders. Profit has no place in our public schools, and I urge politicians in Sacramento to make that the law.
By Nina Rees
Monday kicks off National Charter Schools Week, an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the 6,900 charter public schools across America that are changing the lives of more than 3 million students. This year’s event comes at a unique time for the charter school movement.
“All charter schools are not-for-profit,” Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs.
For at least the last two decades, for-profit and non-profit charter management organizations have co-existed peacefully within the charter sector. However, since the election of President Trump and the appointment of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, both staunch pro-charter supporters who worry less about the tax status of the operating entity and more about performance, the non-profit operators have been increasingly taking swipes at for-profit operators. They seem intent on ingratiating themselves to teachers’ unions, the archenemies of charters and choice, as well as to formerly influential groups like the NAACP. Perhaps they believe that aligning themselves with these anti-charter groups in opposition to for-profit operators they will be spared from attacks. A naive bunch for sure.
The charter school advocates on the panel seemed to agree that some charters weren’t working. They were quick to denounce for-profit charters, for instance. “For-profit operators have no business in education,” said Katie Duffy, CEO of Democracy Prep Charter School. Our children “are not assets and liabilities and they shouldn’t be treated as such.”
U.S. News & World Report just released its rankings of the nation’s top high schools and the best in each state. In Michigan, the top three schools were public charter schools. Yet Democratic legislators proposed wiping them out.
This article, which reads more like fake news than an actual piece of investigative of journalism, should be a wake-up call to all who support charters and choice. Opponents of charters will stop at nothing in their campaigns to slander and malign charter schools.
As the Trump administration plans to redirect taxpayer billions to privatize K-12 education, a scholarly article by some of the nation’s leading investigators of charter school rip-offs has highlighted how their business model is prone to fiscal self-dealing.