Buried in HB 165 is this line.
(l) Charter schools shall have the same access to conduit bond financing as any other non-profit organization, and no State or local government unit may impose any condition or restriction on a charter school’s approval solely because the applicant is a public charter school. It is the further intent that a charter school shall apply for conduit funding to issuers within the State of Delaware unless more favorable terms may be found elsewhere.
This means that local Board of Educations have no say if a charter school can come in and disrupt their district. No say at all,
The also means that a large megalithic charter school corporation, can get free funding courtesy of taxpayers to build a new school, just as a public school district would get free funding to build a new school. As mentioned earlier, this is just like the Wal*mart Corporation asking that the state to finance their new store, so they can move into a local territory and begin wiping out all other local businesses…
Very little attention has been focused on how this affects other charters. The above reference to Wal*mart should make it startling clear.
If you are an existing charter school, perhaps associated with a church or non profit, you are probably making payments every month, on the start-up loans you required to begin.. (These loan payments are not on the charter schools government checkbook because they are paid by private entities.) You are probably doing the best you can with your limited resources. You have big plans of what you wish to accomplish when the loan is paid, and you again have that payment amount available to reinvest into your school. Big plans.
Now with only a year left on your loan, a large charter conglomerate moves into your district and sets up 4 Charters. It pays no start up costs because they are funded by HB 165. The minute it opens, or September 1st, it has unlimited resources to compete against you. It can offer football. You can’t. It can offer a chess club, you can’t.. You lose a student or two to this new opportunity, and suddenly you are down $20,000 a year and must cut back. Of course cutting back creates more opportunity for the megalithic charter corporation to steal more students away from you.
We often talk of charter versus public. We’ve never even once talked about new charter schools wiping out existing charter schools. It would be one thing if the new charter conglomerate were to do so, with the expense of loan repayments at least evening out the playing field for the small school competing with it. But to give the big megalithic charter a free building, free start up costs, all out of taxpayers dollars when there are banks lined up to loan money,… is simply unfair.
The referee (Markell, Rodel, DOE, charter lobbyists, Jacques) in the match, is blowing the whistle for only one side…
This though unfair, happens a lot in government. Quite often laws are put in place by who you know, and how much you get for your vote. The only way justice gets done, is when those with a backbone of courage, step up and say “no”…
9 did in the House and 31 didn’t. But we know far less about the damage this bill would do then, than we do now.
It is a terrible state of affairs when a legislator will give a corporate megalith the unfair advantage over a religious or non-profit organization. It is sickening … really.