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Reply #2: Jerry is actually pro-charter. [View All]

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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-10 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Jerry is actually pro-charter.
Sad but true.

Jerry Brown Raised $12 Million for His Two Oakland Schools
Ten years after Brown founded two Oakland charter schools, their test scores remain uninspiring despite the millions he's showered on them.

The amount of money Brown raises for these two schools makes it impossible to compare his schools to regular public schools, while at the same time raising questions of equity. A hallmark of public education in California is that all schools spend about the same money per student. But the arts and military schools spend up to twice as much on each of their kids than other Oakland public schools.

Since being sworn in as California attorney general in January 2007, Brown has solicited more than 400 separate donations for his two schools, totaling $11.8 million, according to reports filed with state Fair Political Practices Commission. The contributions came from big corporations, well-funded foundations, and wealthy individual donors, including many donations from his stable of political campaign contributors. The Oakland School for the Arts received $7,739,612 in donations that he solicited, while the Oakland Military Institute got $4,092,200. The huge donations are unusual in the world of charter schools, where many campuses struggle just to make payroll and rent.

So does Brown's educational experiment prove that throwing money at California public schools isn't the way to raise students' academic performance? Or does it say more about the former mayor's failings as a manager? After all, public schools in other states that receive about the same amount of money as his school such as in New York tend to perform better academically. And Brown's hands-on approach to his schools is not constricted by collective bargaining agreements, because both the arts and military schools are non-union.

One thing is for sure: Brown's arts school is not spending huge sums trying to educate children from difficult backgrounds at least not compared to most Oakland public schools. Just one-third of the arts school students last year qualified for free or reduced-price lunches, a standard measurement of poverty level. By contrast, about 68 percent of students in the Oakland public school district qualify for such lunches, and at the Oakland Military Institute, the percentage was 77 last year.

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