Sharing my opinon on this article shown after my text.
This writer has taken a small sampling of data and then projected broad generalizations about charter schools. I would encourage readers to consider the idea that all charter schools are different, as well as, their relationships and contracts with their authorizer(s) It therefore does not make sense to me that we could rightfully establish a set called "charter schools" where broad generalizations could be made.(Not saying that no similarities exist. For example each one has its own governing board)
Each state has its own charter school laws and in most cases very weak, where charter school law gets written to patch problems, not as a comprehensive accountability system, other than requiring NCLB adherence in varying degrees. For example, some state charter school laws allow non certified teachers to be hired, while others require the certification and NCLB "highly qualified" teachers.
Charter schools in Alaska where I am employed as a certified teacher, are funded less that the traditional public schools, however, not at the state level, but at the local tax level. In other words our Municipality helps fund the traditional schools, yet not the charter schools and at the same time charter school parents pay property and other local taxes, but the schools their students attend do not get any of the tax dollars they pay locally.
In Alaska, all charter schools are all public schools following all the same laws and regulations. Other than the specific "waivers" found in charter school law that allow freedom of curriculum, schedules, textbooks and programs for charter schools they are required to operate the same. Since any resident can start at charter school in my state, some are opened without great frameworks and fail - these schools are and should be closed.
My point is that the charter school issues are very complex and not so easy to accurately generalize like this writer does.
Back to planning more ways to help close the achievement gap within my own students. In my opinion, that is where the most meaningful work is done.
On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 6:42 AM, Domenico Rosa <DRosa@post.edu>
Letters To The Editor
True Cost Of Charter Schools
Margaret Rick, West Hartford
The writer is a retired elementary school principal.
Let's put an end to the propaganda that says that charter schools do a better job of educating students for less money.
According to The Courant, the Achievement First High School has a budget of $1.7 million for its 62 students [Sept. 17, Page 1, "Singular Focus: Achievement Is More Than Just A Name At Charter School"]. Do the math. That's $27, 419 per student with the city providing transportation and meals. In contrast, the Hartford public school system spends about $14,830 per student.
Then there's the pretense that these schools are closing the achievement gap. If that were the case, we would see it reflected in the state numbers. The fact is that you cannot say charter (or magnet) schools are narrowing the achievement gap when they do not have a population that is comparable to the general student population in the city. It is faulty math.
It is essential to have accurate and honest data about charter school costs and accomplishments to help our state legislators make better decisions about the expansion of these programs. On the other hand, perhaps they would like to equalize the funding and give $27,419 per student to non-charter public schools?
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