Los Angeles Times 27 January 2010 Wednesday A10/Howard Blume Making their pitch for schools
All over California, superintendents of school districts are decrying the sad state of the California budget and the effect it will have on their districts. Nowhere have I seen equal clamor from the charter school sector, which, too my knowledge gets school monies from the same trough of funds.
Either charter schools are not complaining as they have figured out how to drum up money via grants and donations to cover the shortfall or there must be some programs/services which charter schools do not provide with categorical funds so they are not feeling as much of a squeeze.
My experience has been that charter schools are schools of ‘choice’ so they skirt the funding issue by not having to provide the myriad services of regular school districts as parents ‘waive’ their rights to needing such things at the far superior charter schools. In addition, parents at charter schools tend to put more out of pocket money into the various school programs. Donations from various groups flood into charter schools as everyone wants their name or their company associated with the do goodness of charter schools. In essence, charter schools ‘manage’ their money situtation differently.
Due to the strictures of regular public school budgets, public schools can not pull the same smooth moves without raising the ire of parents who expect the school to do everything for their child. It would seem appropriate that since charter schools have long stated they can teach everyone a thing or two about running a school, they should be out there offering their services or at least sharing their ideas.
There surely seems to be something amiss from my view. Are public, non-charter schools really doing something so drastically different that we all need to jump on the train before it passes or are charter schools skirting issues and this will be when we find out how economics of scale work OR is then when we find out what charter schools don’t do?
For all intents and purposes, it would seem that SFUSD would want to bring in as many charter schools as possible to solve their problem, which is not enrollment issues. Why are charter schools not gaming up for the big take over opportunity?
All of these unanswered questions make me wonder what is really going on, beyond the money issues. I doubt it there is some scary cabal, however there is definitely a difference in the two types of public schools.