People who want free lunch at charter schools won’t be guaranteed it. Currently that is how things are now, so there will be no change in the status quo. However, many charters (not all) do provide free lunches on their own to the 40% of their kids from low income households. The process is voluntary, and that won’t change.
Second: Minor Capital improvements continue to be funded by the investors of the private schools. State money will not go towards their landscaping bills.
Third: The Department of Education will not be able to transfer money out of the a school districts budget into the account of a private Charter School. That will still rely on the district to do so. Again, no change and it hasn’t destroyed the charter system being as it was, the past 19 years.
Fourth: The Charter Schools will not be lined in on the Bond Bill or budget bill. They’ll continue to be private organizations. The Charter School Performance fund of $5 million dollars will not be “invented”. That fund would be used at the sole discretion of the DOE to pay who it wished at will. “You see, you shoot pool with someone here and you get a loan….”
Fifth: The Charter Contract will not exist. Well at least, this new Charter Contract will not exist. The old ones will continue to exist. Under the old system, some schools did fine and some did not. The same will happen under the new system. The only difference is which contract gets pointed to whenever any discrepancy comes up.
Sixth: The effect upon a community will be part of the determining process in approving new charter schools. As if it wasn’t already.
Seventh: Specifies that all parts of the Contract must be met in order to approve a Charter School. Primarily it is a “jump through the hoop” paperwork project diverting the school’s attention away from getting students to learn.
Eighth: Says the Department will look over the applications and if it chooses, will deny some, but those denied can appeal the process. Like it does not do that already? We’ve had charter schools for 19 years. They did fine without this. Of course the Department will look over applications and if it’s really bad it will deny them, and if the organizers can fix the objections, then it may get approved. That is how every inspection in the world goes. We don’t need a bill to tell us that is what we are going to do as well.
Ninth: Unlike all education bills before the General Assembly this year, a charter application will have a 15 day period between being announced and a hearing upon its pros and cons. But be vigilant. The posting will be somewhere on the internet which has some 104,000,000 pages just to the search:”charter school information”… And plans.. Yes, plans are good. Just have lots of plans. Plan for this, plan for that. Plan for everything. If you have above the secret number of plans required, your charter will be approved. So aim high with plans. No one knows what that number is.
Tenth: If the state has to close a Charter School, it will use..(guess what?)… a plan. We got through on closing this year without this bill in place. It worked out. We can do it again, if another school is forced to close. Having a plan, means the DOE will do exactly the same thing it did this year, but… it will write it down first, so it can say it followed a plan.
Bottom line.. is that this bill is not indispensable to the educational needs of charter students. This bill is primarily to give charters access to public money, money incidentally which is taken away from public schools… Other than the money piece, this bill is just what teachers call pieces of bad writing they are often subject too. Crap.