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Charter Schools Are a Major Dividing Line for the 2020 Democratic Candidates—Education Fights in Pennsylvania Point the Way

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/10/charter-schools-are-major-dividing-line-2020-democratic-candidates-education-fights

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Look, this is really a pretty easy thing to understand; when you privatize ANYTHING you automatically introduce “profit” into the economic equation. Profit is a fucking added cost no matter which college you went to or whether you’re a Democrat or Republican. So if you decide to have Charter schools in your area, you automatically increase cost by introducing profit into the system. These schools have been proven time after time to NOT OPERATE in a more cost effective way to either diminish or cancel out the additional cost of having to make a profit. And, we ain’t even talking about HOW MUCH a profit they can make or how much they pay administrators or investors.

Bottom line, there are things in society that are both more efficient AND cost effective being in public hands rather than private. Water, schools, defense, fire & police and I could go on and on. Education IS NOT better off in private hands, especially for the tax payer and I’m not even talking here about there NOT being any benefit in outcomes. If anything the private charters have worse outcomes.

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Another fine piece by Jeff Bryant. Here’s a debate question for the Democratic presidential hopefuls: “How would you fix the problem of charter schools draining funding from traditional public schools?”

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I think the charter school issue is another must ask question to be addressed in the debates, but I can’t help thinking the DNC will avoid it or tip toe around it, same as another “corporate unfriendly” issue. Simply put, the DNC has a long track record in these debates of tightly controlling the discussion on any issue that might upset their big money donors. We’ve already seen how having a full debate on climate change went over.

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I feel to eliminate the Charter’s ability to operate, each State must introduce legislation that forces all charters to pay about 20% above the public schools for their teacher’s salaries. If ‘private enterprise’ is truly better than the public option, then charters will be able to survive this requirement. My guess is that Charter schools would quickly evaporate as slave wages are a necessary component of extracting profits for these enterprises.
In more developed countries, when a school is ‘underperforming’ such as inner city schools with a large amount of single parent families, the educational boards give grants to the underperforming schools to help the school to upgrade its ability to handle their unique circumstances. In the U.S. the exact opposite occurs in which an underperforming school is punished with its limited budget choked off even more.
If education can’t be fair and equitable, then a society has some serious flaws that must be addressed. I don’t expect any serious debates about the consequences of Charter schools in the Presidential run up as one other reader has already pointed out. The corporate narrative dictates all questions in media coverage of ‘issues’ by all candidates and therefore we can only expect misinformation about raising and educating our country’s children.

Mark Weber here. A clarification: I used transportation as an example, in my interview with Jeff, of a cost school districts bear that charter schools do not. I did not mean to suggest, however, that PA’s law doesn’t take that into account – it does (whether it does so adequately is another matter). There are other costs I talk about later in this piece that are not accounted for in the PA charter funding formula; however, but I should have been more clear with Jeff about transportation. My apologies.

An entire article supposedly about charter schools being a dividing line for the 2020 candidates and …

… no calling out of Easy Peasy Warren for her history of promoting not only charter schools, but worse, vouchers. No mentioning that her advisors are Teach For America folk. No pointing out she had a long time member and promoter of a charter school advocacy group introduce her recently.