by Carole Hentscel
This is a profound piece of writing by the Independent Media Institute, read the complete report listed (e-book ). It asks, I think, are we playing a shell game with education dollars by diverting them to charter chains, testing companies and construction?
pg 29 & 30 Tampa- addresses Charter Schools USA using tax exempt bonds to acquire land and build schools, but then its related management company rented those facilities back at exorbitant prices. Charter Schools USA charged 5 percent management fee to local Charter School operators, but siphoned off 23 percent of one school’s budget reported by local CBS TV affiliate.
pg 33 “Despite myriad reports detailing many conflicts of interest and examples of profiteering state legislators and congress have imposed few additional transparency and accountability requirements in Florida, Texas and California”.
pg 38 Recommendations:
1. A moratorium on charter expansion
2. Audit and account for all public funds granted to date
3. Subject charter boards to public meetings and open records laws.
4. Ban founders from hiring relatives and firms where they have ownership stakes.
5. Require more evidence based school practices to obtain federal funds.
6. Adopt national standards for competitive bidding and contracting by charter boards
7. Restore elected/appointed school board oversight of charters in their district.
8. Enforce open and inclusive enrollment practices.
9. Require charter trade associations to disclose political donors and activities.
10.Ban on-line charters. Except for carefully overseen pilot projects within districts, with clear evaluation, assessment, and sunset provisions, on-line charters must be abandoned.
The privatization of American public education is carefully explained in this just released report. How a group of billionaires has aggressively pushed to privatize the traditional public school system is outlined step by step.