Charter Industry Fights Reform

California’s charter reform commission, which included many charter operators, was convened by the governor as the result of a huge scandal in online charters that collected state funds for nonexistent students. The commission recommended improvements in charter school authorization and oversight. The charter industry is fighting back.

According to Jeff Bryant’s latest article, the charter industry is arguing that frequent closures of charters shows its accountability. Frequent opening and closures are good! The Network for Public Education’s report that a billion dollars in federal funds has been lost to charter operators. The question is good for whom? Is it good for the students and families who must scramble to find a new school or just for those who pocket the money?

Read Jeff Bryants’ article here and decide who benefits.

The Pursuit of Happiness

Have you ever wondered what ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness’ really means? Thomas Jefferson was an avid student of Aristotle which is where the idea of a pursuit of happiness originated. I am reading a new book called ‘Aristotle’s Way’ by Edith Hall. I came across a paragraph about Aristotle’s view of public education that I would like to share with you:

“The eighth book of his Politics opens with this famous dictum: “None will doubt that the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution.” He means that education at all levels, from small children through to young adults, is of such fundamental importance to the flourishing of the community under any form of constitution that it must be publicly determined and can’t possibly be left to the decided ad hoc by each parent. Since the goal of any city-state is to ensure that its citizens live the good life, “it is manifest that education should be one and the same for all, and that it should be public, and not private.” Page 54-55

These are matters of common interest on which the pursuit of happiness is based.

“An incisive and devastating critique of the Bush A+ Plan”

You have to tell it like it is, especially when so many people have so much money invested in a failing education reform policy. Read the summary of the report: Twenty Years Later: Jeb Bush’s A+ Plan fails Florida’s Children posted by Diane Ravitch. Find out the hard truth about the impact of the A+ Plan on student achievement, school grades, teaching, and communities. Insist on an end to policies that seek to destroy public schools and rob children of a high quality education.

House Appropriations Slashes Charter Start Up Funds

In response to a report by the Network for Public Education, the federal startup funds were cut $40 million this year and another $100 million next year. The committee noted the lack of oversight of federal startup funding.

There is other good news in the proposed budget for full service community schools, look lars remodeling. This is a direct rebuke to the DeVos Department of Education budget proposal. The committee also noted the abuse of for-profit online schools.

Good things can happen! The budget section begins on page 182.

Florida Schools for Sale

Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education has her eye on Florida’s charter abuse. You need to see it too. Seeing is believing. The problems are really bad. Read the article here We have so many bad operators that Acclaim Academy is sometimes overlooked. it should not be. Find out about what happened to the $744,148 start up money they received from the federal government.

Tom Lee rebukes fellow Republicans about charter funding

The Senate caved once again. Going forward, districts must share local referendum funds with charter schools. In the May 3rd Senate session Part 3, Senator Tom Lee said that he had supported charter schools for years but the ‘industry has not been honest with us.’ He said that they agreed in their contracts that they could educate students for 95% of the FEFP (per student funding). But, ‘they have moved the goal posts. First they wanted PECO funds; then they wanted local millage; now they want a portion of local discretionary referendum funds, look blue spruce maids. He called the current supporters ‘ideologues’ who have ‘drunk the kool-aid’. You can see this on the Florida Channel video at 24:22.

Thank you to Robin Jones for posting this on FaceBook.