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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:34 PM

TN stripped local district of 3.4 million for refusing charter school that asked $1,200 of parents.

There is debate now by the school district on whether to sue over this situation. The Tennessee Education Commissioner is Kevin Huffman. He is/was Vice President of Teach for America, TFA, and is the former husband of Michelle Rhee.

There should be outrage from the country that a charter school will get taxpayer money and still be allowed to ask 12 to 15 hundred from parents plus other fees.

Great Hearts admits the fees, but claims they are optional.

A controversial charter school expected to be approved tonight by the Metro Nashville school board (Note: it was voted down 5-4) asks families in its Arizona schools to ante up a $1,200 gift, a separate $200 tax credit contribution, and a few hundred dollars in book and classroom fees.

However, a Great Hearts Academies official says the schools are free and that even the book fees will be waived if necessary.

“It is 100 percent clear to everyone in our schools that those are optional contributions,” said Peter Bezanson, president of Great Hearts Tennessee, the nonprofit management company set up for the five schools Great Hearts hopes to open in Nashville.


Here is more background on this from September.

The Tennessee Department of Education is withholding $3.4 million of non-classroom, administrative funding from Metro Nashville Public Schools due to the school board’s failure to comply with the state’s charter school law, the Jackson Sun reports.

Last week, the Metro Nashville school board disobeyed an order by the state Board of Education to approve an application from the Phoenix-based Great Hearts Academies, which it had already twice rejected.

The Associated Press reports that members of the school board raised concerns that the proposed charter school planned to draw from affluent white families, as opposed to cultivating a more diverse student body. They voted 5-4 to deny Great Hearts’ application, ignoring a unanimous order from the state school board to approve it.


Diane Ravitch covered this well in her blog last week.

To Sue or Not to Sue: That is the Question]

In Nashville, two new members of the school board debate whether the Metro Nashville school board should sue the state for withholding $3.4 million to punish the board.

TFA Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, who is devoted to charter schools and privatization, withheld the $3.4 million from Nashville to punish the board because it rejected an application from the Great Hearts charter corporation of Arizona. The board did not like the fact that Great Hearts had a defective plan for diversity, would locate in an affluent neighborhood, and has a reputation for requiring an upfront “contribution” of $1200-1500 from families.

Great Hearts looks like, smells like, sounds like a publicly funded school for affluent families. The board didn’t like that. It rejected Great Hearts four times.


Huffman, who once was a teacher for two years but has no other relevant experience to be a state commissioner, was furious. He held back $3.4 million from the district.


This goes way beyond the frequent arguments we hear. It goes beyond the "charter schools are public schools" argument. It goes beyond the premise that charter schools are necessary because "public schools are failing".

It reveals starkly that too many times it is all about profit and more profit. This school was to be in an affluent area. I think most got the right idea....that a lot of the education "reform" is about re-segregation.

And the "reformers" are managing to do all this on the public's dime.

Where's the outrage?

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Reply TN stripped local district of 3.4 million for refusing charter school that asked $1,200 of parents. (Original post)
madfloridian Nov 2012 OP
msongs Nov 2012 #1
leftyohiolib Nov 2012 #4
sunnystarr Nov 2012 #8
SheilaT Nov 2012 #12
proud2BlibKansan Nov 2012 #38
SheilaT Nov 2012 #49
Fawke Em Nov 2012 #23
leftyohiolib Nov 2012 #30
Selatius Nov 2012 #48
santamargarita Nov 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #2
madfloridian Nov 2012 #11
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #3
ceile Nov 2012 #5
aquart Nov 2012 #7
sunnystarr Nov 2012 #9
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #22
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #10
BanzaiBonnie Nov 2012 #13
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #14
SheilaT Nov 2012 #15
madfloridian Nov 2012 #17
DonRedwood Nov 2012 #16
madfloridian Nov 2012 #18
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #42
madfloridian Nov 2012 #44
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #47
DonRedwood Nov 2012 #53
madfloridian Nov 2012 #57
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #19
progressivebydesign Nov 2012 #20
valerief Nov 2012 #21
Brickbat Nov 2012 #24
FloriTexan Nov 2012 #25
madfloridian Nov 2012 #27
FloriTexan Nov 2012 #39
madfloridian Nov 2012 #40
lindysalsagal Nov 2012 #26
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #28
madfloridian Nov 2012 #34
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #35
madfloridian Nov 2012 #36
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #37
Hubert Flottz Nov 2012 #29
bvar22 Nov 2012 #31
madfloridian Nov 2012 #45
ljm2002 Nov 2012 #32
madfloridian Nov 2012 #33
hay rick Nov 2012 #41
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #43
madfloridian Nov 2012 #50
madfloridian Nov 2012 #46
srichardson Nov 2012 #51
madfloridian Nov 2012 #52
DonRedwood Nov 2012 #54
srichardson Nov 2012 #58
GiaGiovanni Nov 2012 #55
madfloridian Nov 2012 #56

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:36 PM

1. charter schools are only for making profits. education is irrelevant nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:46 PM

4. arent they also to bust the teacher's union

 

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:03 PM

8. TN is a Right to Work state (nt)

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Response to sunnystarr (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:44 PM

12. Are there any states left that are NOT right to work states?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:06 PM

38. Missouri

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:33 AM

49. Is that the only one?

I'm only being slightly sarcastic.

I lived in Arizona when it was just about the only right-to-work state, and the most salient feature about it was that wages were lower there than in almost every other state. I was even a member of a union when I worked there, CWA, Communication Workers of America, when I worked for the telephone company.

This was in the 1960s. There was a phone company strike in 1967, and forty plus years later I could still tell you the names of those who crossed the picket lines to work, while the rest of us stayed out on strike.

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Response to sunnystarr (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:53 PM

23. There's still a teacher's union, here, though.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:36 PM

30. of course right to work doesnt = unions are unlawful

 

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:13 AM

48. The teachers' unions in many cases are weak at best. Right to work = freeloader problem for unions.

There's always a problem of freeloaders in union workshops operating under right-to-work laws because those laws allow non-union employees to enjoy the exact same benefits and advantages that union members in the shop enjoy without having to pay dues. This has retarded the growth of labor unions in the United States for decades.

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:52 PM

6. They're used got brain washing also.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:43 PM

2. Privatising education, another wonderful left-over Bush policy that needs to be

ended. I don't see how the School Board has the authority to deprive a Public School of much needed funds for education over a dispute like this?

Is there a list of the people on the board, are the Repubs, Dems?

'Where is the outrage'! Good question. Where was it when this all began with Bush's disastrous and cynically named 'No Child Left Behind'.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:21 PM

11. Needs to be ended quickly, but I doubt it will.

Too much money invested in its success.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:46 PM

3. k&r

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:51 PM

5. K&R!

Go Metro Nashville SB.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:53 PM

7. A seriously corrupt state, I take it?

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Response to aquart (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:05 PM

9. Red State but Blue City (nt)

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Response to sunnystarr (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:51 PM

22. Only Nixon could go to China n/t

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:11 PM

10. K$R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:45 PM

13. This push for charter schools

is nothing but a money making scheme.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:46 PM

14. Welcome back



Now off to read your op.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:48 PM

15. This really underscores why the public schools need to be much better funded in the first place.

Last edited Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:39 AM - Edit history (1)

I wound up sending my two sons to an excellent local independent school starting when the oldest was in 7th grade and the younger one in 4th grade. The local public schools were also excellent, and this was a personal decision based on the older one being bullied, and then liking that school so well we switched the younger one also.

I never forgot that we were extremely fortunate to be able to have that choice. I also saw how wonderful it was to have much smaller class sizes, good resources of all kinds for the kids, teachers who weren't overwhelmed themselves by huge classes. I also never lost sight of the fact that this school did not have to accept everyone, and public schools must.

To me, it really comes back to the funding. Fund the public schools as well as the should be to have everything that is needed to educate all children properly. The private schools will still exist, especially the parochial ones, but meanwhile all of our kids will get the education they deserve.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:51 PM

17. You're right. Unfortunately that is what charter schools do....defund local public schools.

The money follows the student. Very few areas have laws about the money following students back to the public schools if they are dismissed from the charter.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:49 PM

16. MADFLORIDIAN!!!!! Where have you been???!!!

I miss your education posts!!! Welcome back!!!!!

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Response to DonRedwood (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:55 PM

18. Hey there.

I have been busy. I am really loving Twitter now that I am used to it. I have also been posting at Daily Kos.

Thanks for the warm welcome.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:41 PM

42. Lol, I knew you would. And your work needs a bigger audience which it gets on Twitter.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:14 PM

44. I bet you thought I'd never learn how to twitter.

Appreciate those of you who answered all my "help me" PMs.

I never cared for Facebook, and was surprised I liked twitter. But I do.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #44)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 01:05 AM

47. Lol, no, I had faith in you.

I never liked FB either but always liked Twitter. I get more news and links on Twitter than anywhere else. It all depends on who you follow.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:39 PM

53. twitter, huh? I've yet to twy it :0( It's good, eh?

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Response to DonRedwood (Reply #53)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:01 AM

57. It's a good way to stay up on events, meet new people.

The Discover page, Home page, and the Lists give so much info daily.

It's like branching out to a new format.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:59 PM

19. kr

 

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:37 PM

20. Charter schools usually underperform, and are rife with management and $$ issues.

It is a travesty to have public funds to a select group of kids whose parents are too cheap to do private school, but want a clubby atmosphere for their kids. Not a fan.

And by asking for that much money, they are trying to keep the lower income kids OUT.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:44 PM

21. I think in TN all you have to do is pray hard enough and the Lord will provide such gifts to

charter schools.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:58 PM

24. Glad to see you back. We need these updates.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:11 PM

25. Hey Mad! Good to see you....

Great post...as usual!

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Response to FloriTexan (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:19 PM

27. Hi back.

How's the weather?

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #27)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:07 PM

39. Gorgeous...

but a bit cool today. There?

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Response to FloriTexan (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:07 PM

40. Pretty warm today. Had a few cool days.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:16 PM

26. The term "Charter school" is deliberately deceiving. It implies something organic or pure: Pure BS

The only difference between a regular public school and a charter school is that charter schools get to break all the rules. Rules that were put there to uphold america's commitment to the education of every student.

If governments want to help all students, go back and invest this energy in public schools.

The reason some don't want to is because individuals can't find a way to accrue personal wealth in the public school system.

It's just like banking: They can't make money if they follow the rules, so they want a fancy way to just jettison the protections of the public interest.

The judge was right to pull the plug on this cheater school.

From now on, when you read the words "Charter School", just replace the r with an e.

Cheater schools cheat students out of qualified teachers, special education intervention and quality standards. They cheat parents out of having a say in their children's education, and in having their taxes go into individual's pockets. They cheat society by not preparing good citizens for civic and work/higher ed. responsibilities.

Cheater Schools. Plain and simple.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:25 PM

28. You are my hero

Education is not something you hear very many people talk about. Romney didn't talk about it and Obama only mentioned shortly before the election. Now of course it will get put on the back burner again. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront where it should be.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #28)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:28 PM

34. The reason it's hard to keep on the front burner is both parties agree on it...

There's a major difference in the stance on vouchers, but both parties favor the charter school growth. And there is no one monitoring that growth.

The only place I have found real attention to it is Twitter. There are a lot of people there who are taking up the fight against this privatization.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:34 PM

35. unfortunately we just lost that fight here in WA

it was really close. Something like 50% for to 49% against. We had voted it down three times before. They just refused to give up. Maybe it was the money on advertisement that made the difference this year. I don't know. And I completely agree that it seems that both the republicans and democrats in office seem just fine with the whole charter school approach.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:00 PM

36. I am so sorry that happened. All that corporate money is hard to beat.

And you are so right.....their side never gives up. Never. They just keep coming back to fight again.

It worries me that all it took to harm public education in this country was for the Democrats to take the side of the reformers. Very few are fighting back.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:05 PM

37. it needs to become one of the things that we demand from them

We demand women's rights, immigrant's rigts, gay rights and social programs. Why can't we add education to that list? From now on every time I mention women's rights or social programs or any other issue I am going to include education in that conversation. It needs to be in every conversation we have.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:33 PM

29. I thought we had RICO laws?

These Arizona Gangsters are invading the Eastern US and that Huffman is probably getting a kickback of some kind. The feds need to look at this case.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:46 PM

31. I have nothing against Charter Schools...

.. as long as they don't receive a single penny of Tax Payer Dollars.

Despite all the twisted rhetoric, parsing, rationalizations, and HIGH DOLLAR Corporate Marketing, Charter Schools ARE Private Schools,
and should be funded 100% from Private sources.

The US already HAS a Public School System.
If it is broken, it is our duty to FIX IT,
not siphon off funds to "private" pockets at "Charter" Schools.

In the final analysis, "Charter" Schools are just another Privatization SCAM
whose purpose is to transfer PUBLIC Dollars to PRIVATE pockets by
hiding behind a pious disguise of Saving the Children.
These vultures are without SHAME!



Hi, Mad.
Good to see ya!


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Response to bvar22 (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 09:20 PM

45. Exactly! bvar22. No tax money for private schools or charters.

There may be a few exceptions IF and ONLY if the charter is run by the school district and regulated by them like the public schools. Even the ones in our district that call themselves public charter can not be controlled by the district. They can spend our taxpayer money sending teachers to resorts for training. One spent 70 thousand doing that in 2010 and told those of us who griped to butt out.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:58 PM

32. Great to see you back, madfloridian...

...this issue is so important, and you are a great champion of our public schools.

It does seem a bit odd, doesn't it, that a charter school founded in an affluent community would institute "optional" fees of $1200 and more... Seems like a transparent attempt to keep the "riff-raff" out.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 05:15 PM

33. It does seem pretty obvious, doesn't it?

"Seems like a transparent attempt to keep the "riff-raff" out." Yep.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:45 PM

41. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 08:55 PM

43. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, madfloridian.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:58 AM

50. Most welcome.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:19 AM

46. Two VERY pertinent comments after the Ravitch post. Whites Only academies

http://dianeravitch.net/2012/11/08/to-sue-or-not-to-sue-that-is-the-question/#comment-55512

November 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

Charter schools for the well to do is another twist in charter schools in NOLA. They used poor kids to get charter laws passed, now we are seeing more and more charters that don’t even pretend to serve poor kids. Simply put, this is how they are creating private schools at taxpayer expense.



Michael Fiorillo
November 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

Yes, these charter schools for the affluent are the direct descendants of the Whites Only academies that were established in the South as a way of avoiding desegregation.

Civil rights movement of our time, indeed!

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:03 AM

51. State Superintendent in Oklahoma

withheld around $90 million in public school funds to give to charter schools and online schools. Needless to say, she, Janet Baressi, is part owner in two charter schools. This is what happens when people vote R just because they R an R. They had no clue of her intentions to basically wipe out our public school system. Number 47 in the nation striving to become #50!

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Response to srichardson (Reply #51)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:47 AM

52. Rick Scott and FL Legislature gave 50 million to charters, 0 to public schools, for maintenance.

Now they want to give more money to charter schools to build.

Unless Arne Duncan or Obama speak up at the utter disregard for public education, I will have to assume such stuff doesn't bother them.

Thanks for the info about Oklahoma, had not heard that.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:40 PM

54. ouch. I hope you keep coming back to DU more! We need to be educated too, you know!

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #52)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:08 AM

58. Many democrats

and education advocates are working to prove the illegality of Barresi's move on this. I have a feeling there will be a march on OKC soon by teachers everywhere in OK. Sorry about Florida. Just goes to prove the repubs are NOT pro-education.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:41 PM

55. The middleman always makes things more expensive: or, in taxpayer math, privatization equals

 

tax dollars PLUS your own private funds to get the same (or worse) as the direct public sector provided.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #55)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:25 PM

56. Good point.

It appalls me to see public entities just handed over to the private sector.

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