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Palmetto Christian School in Florida joins 7 former Catholic schools, turns charter for public money [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 01:28 PM
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Palmetto Christian School in Florida joins 7 former Catholic schools, turns charter for public money
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They will get public taxpayer money to continue their schools as non-religious schools. Since they, like the 7 Catholic schools that now get public money, are keeping their faculty and personnel...I wonder just how secular they will be with that money from taxpayers.

Barry Lynn of American United wonders also.

"This is problematic particularly if you have the same personnel as when it was a private religious school," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a Washington-based advocacy group. "One wonders if the people running the school will treat it as purely secular, purely a public institution?

I agree with Barry Lynn. That will make 8 religious schools that will claim to be former religious schools....getting taxpayer money.

AND since Arne Duncan has 4.3 billion for schools systems that expand their charters, will those districts be the recipient of his dollars as well?

More about the newest school that is stopping being religious and turning from private to non-private for our taxpayer money:

From the Herald Tribune:

Palmetto Christian to become public charter school

PALMETTO - Starting next school year, the Bibles, crosses and religious pictures will be removed from Palmetto Christian School.

In addition, the school will take on a new name and receive its funding from a new source: Florida taxpayers.

The K-8 school -- operating in the same building with most of the same leadership, staff and students it has now -- will become a charter school that could receive more than $1.7 million in state tax dollars.

The move was unanimously approved by the Manatee County School Board last week, despite contrary advice given by the board's own legal counsel. State law prohibits private schools, that fund themselves, from switching to charter schools that receive state money

Here is more about how 7 Catholic schools in Florida were rescued with public taxpayer money.

I am thinking the development of this charter school movement under our new Democratic administration is moving along perhaps too quickly. There are so many unasked and unanswered questions about turning over public taxpayer money to deregulated schools. It is reminding me now of a kind of runaway train that no one can stop. Yet no one really understands all the ramifications of what is happening.

Rescuing Catholic schools with public taxpayer money

And so, the Archdiocese of Miami will begin its experiment with charter schools this fall. What was intended as a pilot program at one parish Corpus Christi in Wynwood will become, for financial reasons, the norm at seven more. Charters also will open in August where five other Catholic schools closed this June: Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Divine Providence in Sweetwater, St. Francis Xavier in Overtown, St. Stephen in Miramar and St. Clement in Fort Lauderdale.

A seventh charter will open at St. Malachy in Tamarac, which opted to close its school before its financial situation deteriorated further. And an eighth charter will open in Miami Gardens, in the building used by St. Monica School until it closed in May 2008.

Charter schools are free, funded by public dollars, so religion cannot be taught during the school day. Unlike traditional public schools, however, charter schools operate independently of the local school board and have more leeway in managing day-to-day operations.

Here is more on the topic. It is happening elsewhere in other states. Info from DC.

Every morning, students at the Trinidad campus of Center City Public Charter Schools in Washington, D.C., line up on the pavement outside the school girls in plaid jumpers, boys in navy slacks and white shirts. Hands on their chests, they recite the schools mission:

"The Center City Public Charter Schools empower our children for success through a rigorous academic program and strong character education while challenging students to pursue personal excellence in character, conduct and scholarship in order to develop the skills necessary to both serve and lead others in the 21st century."

Its not the Lords Prayer, but it will have to do. Decidedly devoid of godliness, the childrens chant is an attempt by the school to replace one element of the religious education it used to impart. Trinidad is one of seven financially-troubled Catholic schools in the District of Columbia that converted to charter schools last fall in order to save them from being permanently shuttered.

The price for losing its religion is complicated. On one hand, the charter structure brought with it several thousand dollars more per student than the Archdiocese of Washington was able to provide, and it offered a guaranteed place for Holy Names former students and teachers.

I fear we are seeing a new way of taking over the public schools by getting control of the resources that fund them.

I am gathering there has been no legal challenge to this yet.

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