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

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-12-12 03:43 PM
Original message
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 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 boards failure to comply with the states 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 didnt 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.


Note they did not mention he was also VP of TFA, a huge part of the "reform" movement.

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.


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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-13-12 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. I doubt the rest of country is tuned into the TN schools.
Edited on Tue Nov-13-12 03:52 AM by No Elephants
This, to me, is a perfect example of why DINOs are so dangerous.

If a Republican moves a Republican agenda, Democrats will stop him or her, or at least get the agenda moderated. However, when DINOs move a Republican agenda, who in hell is going to stop them? Then we get things like charter schools that suck tax money and charge as well, the worst of both worlds.

The idea that the voters can "make" politicians do anything is, IMO, a fairy tale, or Obamacare would have a meaningful public option and the tax cuts would not have been extended in December 2010.

Obama ran very clearly and consistently on at least those two issues; polls favored them by incredibly high numbers after he was elected and people were calling, emailing, demonstrating, etc. What the hell else were we supposed to do?

And the party has been doing its best since Clinton to make sure that everyone in office is a DINO.

I hope this election makes a difference. I want a two party system again. Preferably one with sane, solid Republicans, but definitely one with solid Democrats.

Unless that happens, we are screwed beyond belief. At the very least, every one of us should be figuring out what we can do to affect our party locally.

That's what libertarians did. They started, in fact, with school boards.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-13-12 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. We are screwed beyond belief.
The nation has been transformed!

But not in a good way. The education thing and the attacks on unions is enough to make me sick. Seriously.
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