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.”