Skip to main content

Charter school shell game

To the Editor, Advocates for Arden Arcade:

Charter schools are a shell game.  So the school district could (a) move more money into poorly-performing, existing schools to hire more and better teachers, build newer infrastructure, etc., or (b) move money into a new charter school so THEY can hire more and better teachers and build newer infra.

Somehow, if a body other than the school district spends the money it is a miracle what they are able to do with it.  But if the school district were to spend the money, then any improvement in performance can just be ignored I guess.

Is there something intrinsically different between the same $1 being spent by this board or that board?   Do we need more school boards, or do we need more public involvement in our already-existing public
schools?   It looks like Managerial Accounting, not any genuine improvement in delivery of education, resulting in more T-accounts to manage and less efficiency, such as what can happen purchasing text books, equipment, new buildings, etc.  Existing schools will struggle to obtain funding as money is siphoned off to charter schools.   How is
this solving any problem?

Let's just spend the public dollar where it is needed.  If a school is failing, due to whatever reasons, then let's identify whence the pain, and route money and other resources THERE.   I see no purpose in creating more public entities that create more confusion and frustration.   I do see mounting bureaucracy, though, more inefficiency,
and greater overall expense.  Shuffling funds around will probably result in even more public accountability problems than exist now.

If MORE funding is what is really needed, then let's do that. Robbing Peter to pay Paul may indeed help a charter school, but it will result in less funds for public schools that are not designated as charters, and in turn, could likely fail students and parents who are also paying for their right to good, solid education.

Hal Goldfarb

Join our mailing list