Resource center charter schools…what are they? In California, they are rooms with computers and maybe a tutor. There are 270 of these centers operating which are not authorized by local districts. Who is watching the store? Not Governor Brown!
The centers may be a satellite online center of a charter operating in another district. The judge in the California Court of Appeals ruled that these satellite charters are illegal. They generate revenue for charters at low cost. At least 100,00 students attending these ‘store front’ charters may be affected. Online support centers are legal if they are authorized by and overseen by local districts.
Carol Burris, Executive Director of the Network for Public Education, has written a three part series on the California saga of online charter schools. Many of these charters are affiliated with K12 inc., the company that the State of Florida sued for fraud at the same time they renewed the K12 inc. contract.
At that time our local district operated a resource center for its online students rather than leave them unguarded by the corporate sector. The center is staffed and monitored by the district. In fact, they were created because online students needed and wanted more structure and support. Efforts by the California legislature to curb the abuse in its online sector have been vetoed by Governor Brown. This time, the courts overruled him. Given that the graduation rate from these online charters is ten percent, the judge is right to question the unsupervised expansion and profiteering of online charters.