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Reply #45: That's part of the distinction I'm trying to point out. [View All]

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #39
45. That's part of the distinction I'm trying to point out.
They are not all run by charter management corporations, or any other type of corporations. Ours is run by a principal, who reports to an all volunteer unpaid school board and the county public school district. All the paychecks are going to state employees, all the assets (buildings, computers, etc) are owned by the state. All the financial records are open to the public, the parents or anyone can request them at any time (and they do).

Most are run by private companies, I'm the first to admit that, and like you I oppose it. If tax payer dollars are supporting it, then all the assets should be publicly owned. If they are privately owned, that gives incentive to the schools to start up, use tax dollars to buy equipment, then fold in a few years and - voila! they suddenly own a bunch of assets they never paid for. Maybe I'm not using words precisely enough, because I get that a school can claim they are nonprofit, but be giving out obscene paychecks to a contractor who obviously is "profiting" by it. That's like red cross or other "nonprofits" where the CEO is pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in salary. Technically it's a nonprofit because the "corporation" doesn't stockpile money I guess (?) but in my gut if someone is taking home 500K a year, I can't really consider that NONprofit. That gets into the corporate personhood in a way maybe, if the corporation doesn't profit, but employees are pocketing disgusting amounts of tax dollars, I don't know how we separate that out.

I think people would have less complaints about charters if they were all managed like other public schools, with the same oversight, and the distinction really became just one of choice of atmosphere and no residency restrictions - smaller schools for kids that need/prefer that environment, a focus on the arts or on science, etc. No test requirements that private schools or magnets use to exclude students, no residency requirements that traditional public schools use to exclude students. To me, the big advantage of them is purely giving students a choice of educational and environmental styles so they don't end up hating school, so they have an option to be in smaller communities - which tend to value misfits a little more in general since there is more of a chance to get to know everyone in the school as individuals.

That doesn't necessarily have to happen in a charter way - I just think it needs to happen in general to serve the needs of all kids. However it happens, I don't really care - except that like you I think if it's a public system (taking tax dollars) all the employees need to be government employees and the assets need to be public assets, and unlike some people, I think if it's a public system all students should have equal access to it regardless of whether they live in a good neighborhood or a bad one.
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