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Steven Singer: There Is Virtually No Difference Between For-Profit and Nom-Profit Charters

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Yesterday we learned that Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to ban for-profit charters. This sounded great, but there are very few for-profit charters in California other than K12 Inc. Even K12 Inc.’s CAVA (California Virtual Academies) won’t close until their charter comes up for renewal. It can go on ripping off students, families and taxpayers until then.

The fact that the California Charter Schoools Association celebrated the ban is evidence that it will do nothing to curtail the graft and corruption that is commonplace in the California charter industry.

How timely that Steven Singer explains that there really is no difference between for-profit and non-profit charters. They all drain resources and the students they want from public schools, undermining them and threatening the future of public education.

He writes in part:

“Stop kidding yourself.

“Charter schools are a bad deal.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re for-profit or nonprofit.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re cyber or brick-and-mortar institutions.

“It doesn’t matter if they have a history of scandal or success.

“Every single charter school in the United States of America is either a disaster or a disaster waiting to happen.

“The details get complicated, but the idea is really quite simple.

“It goes like this.

“Imagine you left a blank check on the street.

“Anyone could pick it up, write it out for whatever amount your bank account could support and rob you blind.

“Chances are you’d never know who cashed it, you’d never get that money back and you might even be ruined.

“That’s what a charter school is – a blank check.

“It’s literally a privately operated school funded with public tax dollars.

“Operators can take almost whatever amount they want, spend it with impunity and never have to submit to any real kind of transparency or accountability.

“Compare that to a traditional public school – an institution invariably operated by duly elected members of the community with full transparency and accountability in an open forum where taxpayers have access to internal documents, can have their voices heard and even seek an administrative position.

“THAT’S a responsible way to handle public money!

“Not forking over our checkbook to virtual strangers!

“Sure, they might not steal our every red cent. But an interloper who finds a blank check on the street might not cash it, either.

“The particulars don’t really matter. This is a situation rife with the possibility of fraud. It is a situation where the deck is stacked against the public in every way and in favor of charter school operators.”

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