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Are ‘Nonprofit’ Charter Schools a Distinction Without a Difference?


Are ‘Nonprofit’ Charter Schools a Distinction Without a Difference?

Jeff Bryant

In the most recent financial filings available, the couple who run a chain of 18 schools pay themselves $315,000 a year, plus nearly $39,000 in benefits. The school also employs their daughters, their son, and even a sister living in the Czech Republic.

Families who enroll their children in the schools are asked to contribute at least $1,500 a year per child to the school to fund its teacher bonus program. They also must pay a $300 security deposit, purchase some books, and pay for school activities that would normally be provided free at a public school.


For decades there has been a huge industry of attorneys, accountants and other professionals serving businesses that select “non-profit” organization and tax status. In many respects, “non-profit” is simply a money laundering protocol.

The primary distinction between a for-profit and non-profit corporation is that non-profits can’t sell certain securities like stock.

Charter schools, non-profits and foundations are rackets that make the rich richer and the poor poorer.


This a very good piece. Have you tried submitting it to Education Weekly?
You ask the questions few people actually know the answers to. There is a lot of assumption made regarding how charter’s work. Here you reveal where ultimately the concept can lead to. I have a strong belief system about charters. Looks at the years when they started-right at tail end of the Reagan/Bush years. It was the ultimate seduction for a lot of well meaning parents, teachers, and politicians. Many of whom really had no idea what we were getting into. This kind of operation you point to is frankly, evil. Sinister if you will. Especially since so many have no idea this kind of thing goes on.
The overall rates on charters after two decades showed that generally, the promises made initially on most operations have not come near fruition. This school you point out obviously operates essentially like a private prep school, selecting it’s students based in part on willingness of the parents to subsidize the administrators’ salaries. Their student success rate may be higher. But overall, “public” urban charters are showing only marginal gains in performance. with selected schools possibly doing pretty well. Suburban charters actually show nationally lower performance from the students.
Once the genie was let out of the bottle in 1991 capitalist forces have run amok. We should strive to shut as many of these schools we can get a hold of. They are obviously in business to thieve from the public sector.