Nov 2, 2012
commented on Don't Be Charter Fooled
I still haven't fully understood the resistance to Charter schools in the state of Washington. At the same time, Charter schools haven't really done a great job communicating a clear message beyond the standard bullet points. Looking specifically at the issue about educational expenses made in the article:
1) There is an impassioned plea that Charter Schools would rip away $100 million from an already underfunded public school system.
a) Based on the current state budget, approximately $6.8 Billion is spent on K-12 education in Washington. That support goes out to schools regardless of its' performance. An allocation of $100 Million to the Charter school initiative represents 1.47% of the total state expenditure to schools (yet I often do see this percentage stated in articles).
b) In Chicago/Illinois, charter schools only received about 60% of what an established public school received per student. Currently in Washington each school receives about $10,000 per student from the state. What will the allocation to charter schools be in Washington? I have not read one article that addresses how this issue will be handled if charter schools are approved.
c) Charter schools do overall pay less equivalent salary than public schools. Teachers also have choices, if they do not want to work for less pay they don't have to accept a job at a charter school. My partner, who is an incredibly passionate and gifted teacher, wasn't at first able to get a job in a public school system. Many districts would not even give her an interview. She was accepted at a charter school system in Chicago where over three years she was able to both hone her craft as an educator. Since moving to Seattle, she has continued her career as a teacher and recently earned National Board certification. Couldn't her teaching career path be a potential win for public schools in the state of Washington. It takes a year or two for any teacher to really establish the necessary set of skills to excel as an instructor. Charter schools in Washington could provide valuable on-the-job training for teachers that may ultimately end up in the public school system.
Charter schools are not perfect, but I do not know why they have been demonized by a core set of influencers and journalists that generally support other choice initiatives like R74 and I502.
Nov 2, 2012
joined My Stranger Face