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Monday, February 11, 2013

Charter schools seek exemption from merit pay law. More proof they are not public schools.

I’ll start by saying the merit pay law or the student success act is a disaster meant to handicap the teaching profession. The law should immediately be thrown out and everyone who voted for it should be sent to the corner to wear large cylindrical hats that have a capital D stenciled on them. That being said, why should charter schools be exempt?

Have you ever meant a charter school proponent? The first thing that comes out of their mouth is invariably, charter schools are public schools too. Well friends following along at home, we all know this is rhetoric not even approaching the truth but that doesn’t stop them from saying it over and over.

Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale while attempting to have his cake and eat it too, said in the Orlando Sentinel that the law “was never meant to cover charters.” He said that because charter school teachers are all “at will” employees — without the tenure-like protections that some traditional school employees enjoy — the law wasn’t mean to govern their work.

Um, apparently Moraitis hasn’t been paying attention because the student success act ended tenure like protections and in effect made public school teachers at-will employees. I know these inconvenient facts probably won’t dissuade him, but come on. Is he dumb or does he think we are.

Leslie Postal in the same Sentinel Post also asked: If the law was not meant to cover charter schools, why did Gov. Rick Scott sign the merit-pay bill (SB 736) into law at a ceremony at the KIPP Impact Middle School, a Jacksonville charter school?

Would he have picked that school as a site for that bill signing, if it wasn’t mean to cover charter school teachers? He signed the merit pay bill on March 24, 2011, surrounded by KIPP students, after the Florida Legislature quickly passed it in the first two weeks of its 2011 session. It was the first bill the new governor signed into law, so presumably his staff gave some thought to location and to message.

Here is the thing, the powers-that-be have to say charter schools are public schools, it gives them a slight thread to credibility. If they said what they really are, defacto private schools that siphon money and resources away from public schools, the public might not buy into the privatization racket.

With that being the case let me thank Moraitis, for smugly revealing the worst kept secret around and that’s charter schools are indeed not public schools.

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