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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Let's look at the rules and regulations Charter Schools can avoid.

Despite the fact over 250 charter schools have opened taken public money and closed leaving families and communities in a lurch in Florida they remain very popular with our state legislators. They are sold as public schools that are able to avoid some of the rules and regulations that stifle public schools. Let’s look at some of the rules they can avoid.

Charter schools by putting requirements on parents and through weeding many out through the application process can basically pick who they take, where public schools are obliged to educate whoever shows up.

Charter schools often take fewer disabled children and English as a second language students, you know those who are often harder and more expensive to educate.

Charter schools can weed out poor performers and behavior problems and despite this ability as a group perform worse than Florida’s public schools.

Many charter school boards especially those that belong to chains are not local and leave little recourse for parents if they feel there is a problem. Look at the boards for the Charter USA schools, you will find the same names representing dozens of schools in a half dozen different cities. Democracy may be messy but we have that with public schools and despite being publicly funded we don’t have it with charters.

Finally love them or hate them public schools spend locally. So many of Florida’s charter schools are parts of chains that they siphon millions and millions of dollars out of local communities. Again take Charter schools USA which despite the fact it has over fifty schools in Florida and zero in Delaware is listed as a Delaware corporation.

Charter school supporters say they are exempt from the rules that stifle public schools, well friends if that’s the case why don’t we get rid of those rules? The truth however is charter schools are avoiding both accountability and oversight and our kids and tax payers are paying the price.

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