North Carolina has just elected a new governor; will it mean a better direction for public schools? In this article, Jeff Bryant from Alter Net takes on the scramble for cash to fund public schools. A shortage of funding is only part of the puzzle. The impact of charters on the efficiency of funding for schools is looming large. The open enrollment policies states are enacting cause a financial planning crisis for public schools. Not only is it difficult to estimate how many students may shift from one school to another within a district, students now are moving across district lines to charters. Districts have to send tax dollars to charters whose students may come from somewhere else.
The issue gets more complicated as charters managed by out of state private companies grows. Many of these are for-profit companies seeking to expand into lucrative markets. Making money is important to these folks. Bryant cites work done by Pat Hall and Sue Legg of the Florida League of Women Voters to explain were the profits come from. Think real estate. Then Bryant goes on to summarize work by University of North Carolina law professor Tom Kelley who questions the legal and tax implications of these practices.
It is time that we the people take notice. As my colleague Pat Drago says, ‘School Choice is a diversion, not a solution.’