……It was supposed to be unanimous. Why, everyone wants education to be better. Holding Charter Schools to higher standards was like, wait, holding the 37th best teacher school in the nation (yes, University of Delaware) to higher standards… (It’a make dem kids smarter.) After all, didn’t the Teaching School Accountability Act just sail through the Senate unanimously, and with only two “naysayers” (see Jacques) votes on record in the House?
This time there were nine.
Nine people who put their kids before Charlie Copeland’s millions.
For those not paying attention, you may not see why they did? “Oh, they’re just pollywogs” …you might mutter; “some people just like to make waves; the path was too smooth for them and they had to make it look harder than it was.” But that is far from the truth.
The truth is that Bank Of America has donated part of their giant complex downtown (the 9 year old MBNA built complex) towards a charter school. Charlie Copeland has a charter school that wants to move in. However, “minor renovations” must be done to turn a former bank, into a Charter School. “Minor renovations” the investors don’t want to pay for. (see El Som, Al Mascitti, caller Ed). So if the state passes a $5 million slush fund, one appropriated for “minor renovations”, it gets applied to the former MBNA building and the charter school can open.
A big charter school! One handling close to 2440 students…. At well over $10,000 per student that this new Charter School will get, as it pulls from Colonial, Brandywine, Red Clay, and Christina, it’s yearly income will be well over $24.400,000 dollars every year…. which means that the same $24,400,000 will not be going to Colonial, to Brandywine, to Red Clay, or to Christina. Charter schools run a 60% profit return. They really have few expenses. Teachers, tests, and capital expenses. If the state pays up the capital expenses, the remaining costs average around 34% putting the profit level at 56% or almost 60…. (60 should be achievable once settled in)… The profit on the new charter school will be 56% of $24,400,000 or… $13,664,000 EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
Let’s say, over a 5 year contract, one should pull in $68,320,000 .. not top line… this is the bottom… This is what goes into Charlie Copeland’s and fellow investor’s bank accounts. over $68 million dollars in 5 years…
Now if you went to a bank to borrow $5 million for start up, and were going to get $13,664,000 back that same year every year, do you think a bank would loan you the money? HELL, F”N’ YEAH! They’d literally be crazy not to. Every bank would be fighting for a place in line just to serve you.
But why pay interest on something you can get for free?
Charlie Copeland, unless there is a revolt among those Republicans still wanting to win elections, will be the head of the Delaware Republican Party. That means he currently holds in his hands, the future of 8 Senators, and 14 House of Delegates.
He needs only 3 Democrat Senators (easily bought) and 8 House of Delegates (here’s a donation for you)…. and he can write legislation which lets you the taxpayer fund his enterprise, which will make him and fellow investors richer by $68,800,000 in just 5 years….
But there is more. Charter schools underperform in test scores compared to Public schools. I mean how could they really match up? They don’t have the structure; they have to pay everything on a service basis. They don’t have experienced good teachers; they can only get the bad ones not employed, or new ones with headlamps in their eyes. They don’t have union support; just as a teacher finally gets decent, she gets fired for being “too expensive”.
So, for Charter Schools to work they have at the same time they go into business, start the process of tearing down public schools that have been adequate for a 100 years… The public schools here will start losing $24 million a year. They cut back. As they no longer meet their performance guidelines; they get cut back even more. More Charters move in, forcing even more public school cut backs. The public schools barely have the money to pay for structure, much less lavish upon education. More charters move in, and the district is forced to close schools…. Having charter schools and public schools duke it out over scarce resources, not unlike the recent movie Hunger Games, cuts our actual passing students down by almost half….
This is how Philly and Chicago and 3 years ago, Kansas City happened. They let in large Charter Schools. The numbers show that when Charter Schools move in, the test scores of an entire geographic area get lowered significantly. The charter schools don’t know HOW to keep them up; the public schools are too cash strapped to keep them up… True, some schools who are allowed to attract the best and brightest, may go up, but for every one that does, far many more go down pulling the average across the city down with it… Obviously those getting the worst treatment are Blacks, flat out they have no hope, with Hispanics getting the second worst deal of the century.
Delaware has been lucky so far. But as we can see from studies done on Newark Charter School, segregation is back in full force..
We can turn this state into the educational waste land that is Chicago, that is Philadelphia, that is Kansas City…. and with the passage yesterday, under the auspices of “holding Charter schools accountable” while fixing their buildings “for free”, we appear headed down that direction. Remember every other state who has tried doing what we proposed to do, has met abysmal failure. Fact: there are no successful charter stories out there. All are negative.
The good news, is that there were people in Delaware tuned in on the problem who stood up for every single Delaware child; yes they will face millions against them throughout their career, but for our children it was worth it… Most people out of tune with politics may never realize the fear that going against the strong hands in Delaware can create. Its like looking into your open grave… Nine people conquered that fear yesterday, and stood up for children, real children, like yours and mine, and did not kowtow to investors who will thank them campaign-time for netting them a cool, easy $68 million…..
Paul Baumbach (D)
Andria Bennet (D)
Stephanie Boulden (D)
J. Johnson (D)
Helene Keeley (D)
John Kowalko (D)
Edward Osienski (D)
Charles Potter (D)
Kim Williams (D)
Every parent needs to thank these very strong people for putting kids over Copeland.