Tuesday, March 15

Then There's Charter Schools...

Forwarded from an IPS teacher:

"We've been told the state is broke; there isn't any money; everyone must tighten their belts. Everyone but charter schools, apparently.

"Earlier this year the Governor proposed not to fund the deficiency appropriation caused by public school enrollment of more students than anticipated. The need for the...appropriation was caused by a cap on public school appropriations. But there's no cap proposed for charter school(s).

"Of 22 charters sampled, 16 had double digit funding increases...14 of those were increases of 20% or more. Charter school of the Dunes receives 27.7% and 10% increases over the next two years. Meanwhile, the Duneland public school corporation, which lost nearly half its local levy when Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt sees cuts of -1.6% and -0.5% over the biennium.

"Among other noteworthy charter increases:

Community Montessori, Inc. Indianapolis 40.5% and 32.7%
Flanner House Elementary Indianapolis 34.9% and 3.8%
Christel House Academy Indianapolis 12.9% and 10.7%
KIPP Indianapolis 42% and 29.4%
Indianapolis Metro Career Academy #1 100.7% and 45.5%

"Charters are not serving expensive-to-educate populations to the same degree as public schools:

Indianapolis Public Schools' special ed. population is 18% while only 6% of charter school students are. IPS reports charters are sending special ed. students they can't or won't serve back to IPS.

IPS's non-English speaking population is 6% of enrollment while charters enroll only 2%. IPS serves more than twice the proportion of Hispanic students and 30% more free and reduced lunch students than charters within IPS boundaries."

The State of Indiana went hog-wild for charter schools just as the Edison schools fiasco started making headlines. The assurances that tossing out selected state requirements would lead to academic excellence have been replaced, after two years of sub-par testing, to retorts that charters "aren't performing that much worse" than regular schools, despite their having cherry-picked their class lists. And the legislature wants more. But no, this has nothing to do with disenfranchising poor and minority students.


Anonymous said...

Shows what happens when you put Sting in charge of the schools in Dune.

Anonymous said...

I guess the "success" of Charter schools comes from the sense of freedom it gives parents -- they are not compelled to send their kids to that school.

The education may be no better, but parents have a modicum of freedom -- they don't feel their child is trapped.