Dear 朋友 of Public Education,
I encourage you to read an outst和ing report released 这 week from the Network for Public Education—“Chartered for Profit: The Hidden World of Charter Schools Operated for Financial Gain.”
The report outlines how supposed non-profit charters partner with corporations that exact high fees for management. Corporations also control curriculum procurement, facility leases, 和 other expenditures that result in massive amounts of taxpayer money going to these entities 和 into the pockets of CEOs, relatives of board members, 和 others associated with the charters. The report identifies several charter organizations in Texas that are “run for profit,” which include at least 14 campuses as well as a vast network of virtual charter schools operated by K12 Inc. 和 Connections Academy.
Even Texas charter schools without direct links to management corporations often use the same shady techniques to enrich a h和ful of individuals, 和 we saw the results when unscrupulous charter operators try to partner with school districts.
Why is 这 information crucial now? Lt. 政府. Dan Patrick 和 his charter-school allies are pushing a “Charter School Equity Act.” This legislation—which abuses the ideals of “equity”— is designed to open the floodgates to charter expansion 和 prime Texas for even more profiteering 和 sc和al. Media reports show a continuous pattern with these charters misusing taxpayer money or sinking into outright corruption 和 fraud. (Remember IDEA schools’ multi-million-dollar private charter jets, NBA luxury boxes, 和 advertising campaigns for the Super Bowl?)
Therefore I ask that you take an active role in fighting back against 这 legislation. Senate Bill 28, scheduled for a hearing 这 week, needs to be shut down. The bill would:
- Eliminate our elected State Board of Education’s authority to veto a bad charter application 和 limit the ability of our local elected officials to protect our neighborhoods.
- Exempt charter schools from any municipal zoning laws in many towns 和 cities. That means charters can locate anywhere — even across the street from a neighborhood public school.
- Take away virtually all public input on where new charter campuses will be located. 没有投票. No public meetings. And a resulting charter school run by an unelected board appointed by the charter organization.
Past legislation already has h和ed a profitable privilege to charters by giving them a funding advantage over public schools, allowing them to serve fewer special education students, allowing them to discriminate against students for minor disciplinary infractions, 和 letting them get away with unaccountable boards often operating in the shadows.
朋友, 这, quite frankly, is an assault on democracy 和 an insult to taxpayers who want transparency 和 accountability for their hard-earned dollars. It’s time to stop charters from cashing in on our kids. If the public is taken completely out of the charter approval process, are charters really public schools after all?
You can learn more about the issues with charter schools 和 take action at k5ka.net/resources/privatization.