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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:19 PM

Emergency Manager In Michigan Sells Off Entire School District

Two charter school companies vie for Muskegon Heights schools
MEA
Posted on 06/18/12 at 3:14pm

<snip>

By the end of this week, Muskegon Heights Public Schools Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon will have sold the entire school district to one of two for-profit charter school management companies—Leona Group or Mosaica Education. It’s an unprecedented move to eliminate the district’s $12.4 million debt and it signals the end to traditional public education for more than 1,400 students in Muskegon Heights.

The current school district would no longer exist, but would still have to pay off the debt using its local millage, a 3 percent fee from the charter school company, rent from its buildings and whatever other means the state Department of Education and Treasury approve. The charter school would be in charge of educating children and receive the district’s $7,397 per-pupil funding, but the school district would oversee the operations of the charter school company.


The 85 district teachers had a contract with the district through Aug. 2013, but last month Weatherspoon laid off the teachers and cut off their health benefits effective June 30. The union sued and the teachers will have benefits until the end of Aug. Weatherspoon has said the teachers can apply to the new charter operator, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be hired or even given consideration. The Leona Group has said it would probably hire the teachers since they’re “highly qualified, very competent and very capable,” but that may just be an empty promise to get the contract.

Whichever company is awarded the bid, neither one has an outstanding record.

The Leona Group, founded in 1996, is based in Phoenix and operates 61 schools across the country—19 in Michigan. The instructional spending per Leona pupil is $3,811. Mosaica Education operates six schools in Michigan and is based in New York. It manages a total of 33 schools and one school district. It was founded in 1997 and spends $3,683 per pupil.

According to Gary Miron, Western Michigan University professor and a nationally-recognized authority on charter schools, students in these two charter systems don’t fare any better than those in traditional public schools. In his Jan. 2012 report for the National Education Policy Center—“Profiles of For-Profit and Nonprofit Education Management Organizations”— 54.4 percent of Leona Group students made AYP, while only 50 percent of Mosaica Education students did. For the 2010-11 school year, 52 percent of all public schools—traditional and charter—made AYP

The state also ranks charter schools on a top-to-bottom list—from 1 to 99—based primarily on test scores. Only one charter school from among the two companies is ranked above the 50th percentile; 19 are ranked below the 30th percentile; 14 are ranked below the 20th percentile. Miron blames a lack of state oversight for the rankings. While both charter school management companies claim student performance is improving, neither group has any research or data to support its claims.

<snip>

Link: http://www.mea.org/two-charter-school-companies-vie-muskegon-heights-schools






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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:25 PM

1. Looks like education is no longer a guarantee..

not that there isn't a whole lot wrong with the current system. But, it looks to me like the school district could face some legal challenges.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:27 PM

2. The only way out is to emigrate out of Michigan.

 

Drive these companies into bankruptcy by having no kids to teach.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:33 PM

3. How the fuck do you sell a school district?

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Response to one_voice (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:40 PM

5. Good question. Whatever the answer, they've figured out how to do it.

 

Indiana sold off one of its highways, a toll road.

Chicago sold off its parking meters.

And NYC is in the process of selling off its parking meters.

Apparently, while not every one needs to drive on a toll road or using a parking meter in Chicago or NYC, all the parents of children in the school district are required by law to send their children to a school.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:20 AM

6. "required by law to send their children to a school"

It seems those children are valuable resources. KaChing.

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Response to Trillo (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:41 AM

10. and when they finish their cut-rate education they can be sold to private prisons. ka-ching.

 

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Response to one_voice (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:25 AM

8. The way you sell any public asset if you are a republican:

Cheap. And to your friends.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:42 AM

11. analogous to the sell-off of russia's infrastructure to the oligarchs following the dissolution of

 

fsu.

corruption unleashed.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:39 PM

4. Michigan has become a fucking pit apparently.

But the vagina monologues appear to have been of interest there.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:37 AM

9. shaking my head right now

it is getting to the point that there are places in this country that it does not pay to live
and when you do not protect the least of your fellow country people then you are going
down the slide to the Bowels of Hell ......... republicans leading the way

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 05:42 AM

12. WillyT, thank you for this thread. It has real value. We need to know. n/t

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 06:19 AM

13. Selling off The Commons.

This is obscene.
To the GOP, everything can be bought and sold, including elections. Their real religion is money.

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