Charter schools for children of millionaires: An expansion of the concept or distortion?

A reader sent me this Bloomberg.com story about a public charter school in Silicon Valley that asks its wealthy families to donate $5,000 a year, which some parents view as a deal for a public school with private school amenities.

Bullis Charter School is in Los Altos, where the median home is worth $1 million. The story asks whether Bullis, which accepts one in six kindergarten applicants and attracts the children of computer company titans, distorts the original purpose of charter schools — to provide kids trapped in failing public schools with the same choices as more affluent peers.

Increasingly around the country and in Georgia, charter schools are opening in suburban communities with strong public schools because those parents want greater choice, too.

The Bloomberg story cites a study that found 25 percent of U.S. charter schools don’t participate in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, compared with 2 percent at traditional public schools. (The participation rate in the federal lunch program is seen as a proxy for the number of poor children in a school.)

The story also notes that one out of five of the country’s 5,200 charter schools is in a suburb, including affluent communities like Los Altos.

Here is an excerpt, but try to read the full piece:

While charters are heralded for offering underprivileged kids an alternative to failing U.S. districts, Bullis gives an admissions edge to residents of parts of Los Altos Hills, where the median home is worth $1 million and household income is $219,000, four times the state average.

“Bullis is a boutique charter school,” said Nancy Gill, a Los Altos education consultant who helps parents choose schools. “It could bring a whole new level of inequality to public education.”

The growing ranks of U.S. charter schools in affluent suburbs are pitting neighbor against neighbor and, critics say, undercutting the original goals of the charter movement. Families who benefit cherish extensive academic offerings and small classes. Those who don’t say their children are being shortchanged because the schools are siphoning off money and the strongest students, leaving school districts with higher expenses and fewer resources for poor, immigrant and special- needs kids.

Bullis Charter School offers its 465 students a rich, interdisciplinary education unavailable in regular schools, said Principal Wanny Hersey. She compared Bullis to Silicon Valley companies such as Apple Inc. (AAPL) — whose leader, the late Steve Jobs, grew up in Los Altos.

Bullis’s popularity shows that even parents in wealthy, top-performing school districts such as Los Altos have become disenchanted and are seeking alternatives. Bullis has higher state standardized test scores and offers more art and extracurricular activities than the Los Altos district, which is cutting music and increasing class size. Bullis has achieved this success while receiving about 60 percent of the conventional system’s public funding.

Parents in Los Altos Hills created Bullis in 2003 because they were angry after the district closed their neighborhood school, said Mark Breier, a founder of the school and former chief executive of Beyond.com. The founding parents won a charter from the Santa Clara County Board of Education after the Los Altos district twice rejected them. After giving spots to current students and their siblings, Bullis reserves half of its slots for residents of the neighborhood that fed into the old school.

Last year, U.S. charter schools received $14.8 billion in local, state and federal money, up from $4.5 billion in 2003, according to an estimate by Washington-based Aspire Consulting LLC, which analyzes public-education finances.

In Minnesota, where the charter school movement began in 1992, charters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region initially focused on black, urban neighborhoods and have since spread into wealthy suburbs, where schools are often predominantly white, according to research from the University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Race and Poverty.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

122 comments Add your comment

Labella

November 16th, 2011
8:25 am

Parents who care about their child’s education are always going to want their kids in class with the best students. Charter schools provide them that opportunity. It really is that simple. It’s sanctioned segregation by academic ability and parent involvement. You can also argue that it’s tracking. A lot of parents resent the inclusive model of public schools. When they went to school the most capable students were seperated into their own class for vigorous instruction. Now those kids are grouped with kids with behavior issues (there is an attendance indicator that punishes schools who suspend kids, so they remain in class) and academic deficiencies (NCLB encourages differentiation).

It’s really a philosophy question. Should kids become better people by working with students from all backgrounds and ability levels OR should they reach their full academic potential by separation?

irisheyes

November 16th, 2011
8:32 am

And the secret behind the charter school movement is exposed.

GwinnettRes

November 16th, 2011
8:34 am

Charter schools, at least in this area, have nothing to do with academic ability Labella. They are not allowed to use “academic requirements” as part of their entry process. If you want to go to a charter school, you submit your name. If the school has more applications than spots, you enter a lottery. If your name is chosen, you are in. Academic acheivements and/or ability never come into play during the process.

williebkind

November 16th, 2011
8:36 am

“Those who don’t say their children are being shortchanged because the schools are siphoning off money and the strongest students, leaving school districts with higher expenses and fewer resources for poor, immigrant and special- needs kids.”

Now let us rewrite that to fit the real world!

Those who don’t say strongest students are being shortchanged because the schools are siphoning off money leaving school districts with higher expenses and fewer resources because of the poor, immigrant and special-needs kids.

There! The real facts have been exposed!

posterchild

November 16th, 2011
8:36 am

@ GwinnettRes, thank you for clearing that up, as some people still don’t get it. Just like some people still don’t get that we don’t have teacher unions here…

Cherokee

November 16th, 2011
8:38 am

I love how one school “exposes” the whole movement. What a leap.

The bottom line is that while charter schools rightfully should be heralded for helping less fortunate kids, they are also a good vehicle to bring choice and competition to suburban areas where schools quietly need it.

That part that bothers me (as a charter school, public school, private school, virtual school, and homeschool supporter) about the California school deftly featured above in an attempt to discredit charters as a whole is that they seemingly are requiring a donation to go there. That’s not a charter school, it’s a private school. Public money shouldn’t be going to a school like that under the guise of chartering.

Just Stating the Obvious

November 16th, 2011
8:43 am

@ Labella: we need to bring back ability grouping and tracking. Differentiation does not work. It is dang near impossible for teachers to adequately meet the needs of more than three academic cohorts in a classroom, regardless of subject matter. Currently, teachers are faced with making difficult choices on which student/group to devote the most time to and often the higher aptitude crowd is left to their own devices. Forget about being challenged; many of these kids come nowhere close to their potential because of sheer boredom.

And before anyone reminds me that MS and HS have accelerated classes, let me remind them that these classes had their entrance requirements relaxed to allow more kids in. Load levelling of teachers is the norm in this down economy. And… let’s talk AP classes at the HS level. The entrance requirement for those classes were either relaxed or done away with. Case in point: my son’s AP class had a little over 100 students in it last year (all periods included). The current roster for this same class is 340+ students. Did the class change? Nope. Just marketing to the students that everyone should take more AP classes when that just isn’t true.

Labella is correct that the inclusive model of public schools is resented by many parents, myself included. That said, I want to take it further and state that from my personal observations, combining different aptitudes of students into the same classroom for the mere sake of “the appearance of equality” does not make it so. Our current mode of education does a disservice to every type of learner… and makes the teacher’s job that much more difficult.

Dixiecrat

November 16th, 2011
8:44 am

What a tangled web we weave. I guess it is academic segregation. I would say it’s like private school. Parents typically send their kids there to learn with like and similar peers from the same socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s to each his own. If I had kids, I’d send them to private school so they wouldn’t have to be distracted by the kids who don’t want to learn, whose parents use the public school as a baby sitter.

HS Public Teacher

November 16th, 2011
8:46 am

Regular public schools also have parents that donate big bucks. A group of parents donated $1200 each to my high school.

Unfortunately, this is all for the football program and not for academics.

The public has it’s priorities.

Labella

November 16th, 2011
8:46 am

@GwinnettRes I’m aware that we employ a lottery system here in Georgia, but the fact is that parents who are more involved in their student’s academic pursuits are more likely to have kids who excel and those are the parents who seek out and apply to charter schools. So, inevitably charter schools are going to have better students because they have more involved parents.

another comment

November 16th, 2011
8:48 am

The truth is who wants their kids to be with the Free lunch mentally parents. There is so much fraud in the free lunch program it is a disgrace. You see almost every black parent driving a luxury car with hair weaves, nails done, cell phones, designer clothes and they sign up for free lunch. Something is wrong when the cut off is $22K a year. How do you drive a car with a $400 to 600 a month car payment, $50 a week nails, $300 hair do’s. I can’t afford it.

I grew up in a farm area of NY state, with a top performing High School. The free lunch percentage is less than 3%. Clearly some of these families could qualify for this program. Even one of my siblings could. But they don’t apply, they pack a lunch. They are too proud. You can see what being proud is, it results in top performing schools. Not low performing schools. So yes in my opinion, the schools should not participate in the free lunch. My daughters went to a GA Pre K, that turned down the Free lunch funds. Yeah! You don’t have to participate.

williebkind

November 16th, 2011
8:51 am

“It’s really a philosophy question.”

Has it not been proven that kids and adults will group together by “volunteer segregation”.

gigi

November 16th, 2011
8:54 am

Just because someone lives in the suburbs does not mean the schools are good. The public schools in Newnan did not prepare our son when he went off to his first year of Auburn. My youngest child will go to the charter school next year because of our local public schools failure to challenge.

carlosgvv

November 16th, 2011
9:01 am

The rich in America get the best doctors, lawyers, cars, houses, insurance and, in Atlanta, express lanes. So, why shouldn’t they get the best schools for their children? It’s the American way.

williebkind

November 16th, 2011
9:02 am

Schools do not teach the required skills for our kids. They are more interested in socializing and indoctrination. The schools need more conservative teachers!

Jethro

November 16th, 2011
9:04 am

What of us who don’t have children? Why should we pay more money for a service we don’t/won’t use? Educators need to get their financial house in order; then come talk to me about money.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

November 16th, 2011
9:05 am

You people seem to have been living in the dark ages. Of course the schools that require tuition, charter/private etc are for those who can afford such.

And the parents willing to spend their cash in this manner are only illustrating their willingness to sacrifice via education, extra jobs, cutting corners etc, to give their child a better.

So what, again, is the problem.

OH…Yeah…its not fair and it is mean spirited. Well tough noogies. Life isnt fair.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

November 16th, 2011
9:06 am

PS…it isnt segregation so stop with the demonizations.

oneofeach4me

November 16th, 2011
9:06 am

“That part that bothers me (as a charter school, public school, private school, virtual school, and homeschool supporter) about the California school deftly featured above in an attempt to discredit charters as a whole is that they seemingly are requiring a donation to go there. That’s not a charter school, it’s a private school. Public money shouldn’t be going to a school like that under the guise of chartering.” Touche!!

I entered my son into the local charter school lottery because actually, he is more special needs and requires a lower student-to-teacher ratio (11-1). He cannot get that in the local CCSD school where the kindergarten ratio is 24 to 1. I really thought charter schools were suppose to be about giving children the opportunity to have more one on one time with teachers which is what most “special needs” kids require; and also a little more creative teaching. Gosh I hope I am not wrong about this because my son still has an opportunity to grow, unless he continues to be swept under the rug because no one wants to put forth an effort to teach him.

Private School Parent

November 16th, 2011
9:06 am

Another comment hit the nail on the head. I want my kids associated with like minded parents kid who do not think society owes them a handout. You work for what you receive.

Samantha

November 16th, 2011
9:08 am

Charter Schools should be for ALL children from EVERY economic background NOT just the wealthy. The wealthy can afford to send their children to private schools and that is what they should do. For a Charter School to ask parents for a yearly (tuition) donation fee of $5000 is absurd! That is crazy. They call it a ‘donation’ fee, but it isn’t.

Charter Schools are better than public schools.

The same thing these wealthy people are doing is trying to save money. To take away from the less fortunate people. That is wrong!

Too Bad

November 16th, 2011
9:08 am

That’s right, Carlos. The rich/sucessful do get the better things in life. If you want better things in life then go out and earn them. That’s the human way!!

edward irvin

November 16th, 2011
9:09 am

Why is it an issue when wealthy people take advantage of public resources? Are public resources only the domain of the less fortunate? The petty and insinuative nature of this article, good grief. What a great country we’d have if it wasn’t for those dastardly rich people.

Too Bad

November 16th, 2011
9:11 am

The less fortunate……LOL. Exactly why are they less fortunate? Is it because they are lazy? Funny how immigrants who come to this country without a pot to pee in make it as sucessful business owners while some of those same immigrants do not. Now tell me which one of those two examples were the less fortunate?

carlosgvv

November 16th, 2011
9:12 am

Too Bad – 9:08

And if you work long and hard but just don’t have the apptitude to gain entry into a high paying job, that’s just your tough luck. So, praise those who fate has allowed to have the necessary talent to get rich and learn to eat cake if you’re the hardworking poor.

bessbear

November 16th, 2011
9:14 am

The free lunch program is such a joke. I really wish that would be more exposed. Currently 54% of kids in Gwinnett are receiving either free or reduced (mostly free). Gwinnett does not have that many needy families. Ahh, but the schools receive other $$ benefits by having more kids on that program, and the Fed govt. has somewhere to push the crappy food that it subsidizes. And now I hear they want to start serving dinner to these kids – hmmm, more jobs for the service union folks. That’s what is really behind that idea. We need to get control on that.

Charter schools benefit everyone

November 16th, 2011
9:16 am

By encouraging, or better yet demanding, parental involvement, accelerating curriculum, enforcing discipline and providing a compatible environment for motivated students, charter schools benefit the whole of society. Most public schools — my children went to them so I have 16 years of experience with APS — institutionalize mediocrity in the best ones. Having schools where excellence is the norm maximizes human potential and thereby increases the overall net worth of the US. We could also improve the public schools, but any time spent within APS will disabuse you of that notion.

Too Bad

November 16th, 2011
9:16 am

Arte you a religious person, Carlos? Sound like you are as fate plays a large part in your arguement.

Too Bad

November 16th, 2011
9:20 am

Or could it be you are a communist and believe “from each according to his ability to each according to his need”? Last I checked religion and communism do not coincide.

JB

November 16th, 2011
9:22 am

@Cherokee

“Public money shouldn’t be going to a school like that under the guise of chartering.”

At the university level we fund education through a mix of public and private funds – government subsidies, private donations, grants and tuition. Why is this not a good model for primary and secondary education?

As another poster mentioned, boosters provide millions of dollars every year to support football. What if I wanted to donate to better academics, rather than football? Would it be so bad if the basics were provided by the government (as required by the constitution) but communities and parents could choose what schools to attend and provide additional money out of pocket to improve specific areas? Some people might choose a school with a better sports program or arts or academics.

Everyone’s underyling assumption is that our current model (all public or private and no choice for public schools) does a better job preventing certain kids from slipping through the cracks than a model where people choose where to go and how to invest their money. That assumption may be faulty.

bessbear

November 16th, 2011
9:23 am

Back on the topic. Any school that requests a $5000 donation sounds like a private school. As a parent who pays for private school where we get $0 from taxes, that irks me a bit, mostly because I’d like our school to also get some tax$, such as a voucher program. My not having my kids in public school is saving the tax payers something like $10k/student/yr. I’m all for taxpayers funding eduction, but the current system penalizes private schools which are doing a good job.

carlosgvv

November 16th, 2011
9:24 am

Actually, I belong to The Church of What’s Happening Now. Can I get a witness?!?!!!?!

AMT

November 16th, 2011
9:37 am

“The same thing these wealthy people are doing is trying to save money. To take away from the less fortunate people. That is wrong!”

Many of the “wealthy” in this country get there by earning and saving money – not spending it on crap, like the “less fortunate” do! They spend their riches wisely on things like a good education for their children. What is wrong with that?

cosby

November 16th, 2011
9:39 am

Shows those who strive to improve themselves are totally disgusted with the failed Government Schools. I bet these same “RICH” families also make sure their darlings are fed, clothed, have their homework done and are ready to learn. I bet that they hold their little darlings accountable for learning, read with them and support their teachers. Contrary to the wonderful public / government schools that serve as a baby sitting service, have to feed and cloth their students, are always at fault if a student does something remotely wrong and the teacher should be the partent. A shame, a total shame if the Government Schools changed and held parents responsible, then I bet there would be no need for Charter Schools. Can’t understand why this country wants to wallow in it entitlement mentality in lieu of I am a responsible human being. Time for the USA to grow up!!

Old Physics Teacher

November 16th, 2011
9:43 am

So… guys… what happens to the student who got in on a lottery and has no parental involvement and fails miserably, hum? Doesn’t he/she get sent back to the previous school and open a slot for another “lottery” student? Even the legislators know what is happening, and they have no problem with it. In fact, that’s their goal! It’s a way to get around the educational practices de jour, that have failed and will continue to fail, and get back to teaching the kids that want to learn in the PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. Fight it or not, it is the “wave of the future.”

concern for all children

November 16th, 2011
9:50 am

The bigger issue is how do schools (Public and Charter) deal with kids who just don’t get it? At some point, the question needs to be asked; why do certain kids have behavior problems and how do we (educators, parents and communities) fix it so that ALL kids are in an environment conducive for learning. It seems that many of you believe the solution is to simply separate the kids who get it (affectionately called “kids who WANT to learn”). I don’t know of any child who wakes up with the intention of going to school and being as difficult as they can possibly be. Perhaps it’s because they’re not understanding what’s being taught and no one seems to care, maybe there are issues at home, maybe they have learning disabilities (ADHD, Dyslexia, etc). Even the worst of parents want their children to learn but not all parents have the resources or know how to get their children the help they need. Perhaps its time to move away from this one size fits all methodology for educating children. It’s in all of our best interests.

The Last Word

November 16th, 2011
9:55 am

“Last I checked religion and communism do not coincide?”

Jesus was very much a communist/socialist, whether you like it or not.

Mary Elizabeth

November 16th, 2011
9:57 am

I did read the whole article regarding Bullis Charter School from Bloomberg.com. Here are a few additional quotes from that article, of which readers may be interested:
——————————————————————

- “ ‘It (Bullis Charter School) could bring a whole new level of inequality to public education.’ The growing ranks of U.S. charter schools in affluent suburbs are pitting neighbor against neighbor and, critics say, undercutting the original goals of the charter movement. Families who benefit cherish extensive academic offerings and small classes. Those who don’t say their children are being shortchanged because the schools are siphoning off money and the strongest students, leaving school districts with higher expenses and fewer resources for poor, immigrant and special-needs kids.”

- “Along with leaving the district with the hardest-to-serve students, Bullis-related expenses have hurt the Los Altos school system in other ways, said Randy Kenyon, an assistant superintendent.
For each district student who attends Bullis, the system loses about $5,000 in per-pupil funding, Kenyon said.”

- “Song (a member of Santa Clara’s Board of Education), who originally supported the school, changed her mind when Bullis’s charter came up for renewal last month. In an open letter, Song cited the school’s ’sense of entitlement and lack of understanding of what it means to be part of public education.’ ”

—————————————————

The problem with public charter schools is that even though they use public funds for operation (thereby taking funds from the overall operations of public school systems), some are run by private companies that have private interests to protect. Public charter schools have a place in developing more effective instructional techniques for students, especially for low achieving students. However, the number of public charter schools should be controlled and limited because they do take funds from public schools. Their claims to success should be carefully monitored and the populations which they are actually serving should be fully disclosed for public knowledge.

At best, public charter schools should act as experimental models which may, ultimately, enhance the success of all public school systems, and not act as private schools to serve the already affluent -with public monies. If the affluent want to send their children to private schools they should do so with their own money, exclusively. We must improve public school systems, not give up on them or dismantle them.

The general public has an obligation to educate all of the state’s children through their taxes for the betterment of the society-at-large. I am a retired teacher whose last child graduated from a public school over a dozen years ago, and yet I gladly continue to pay significant property taxes to help educate the masses of children in Georgia. My taxes (and those of all other citizens) are meant to elevate the calibre of all citizens within our state, through public education, so that all might become productive citizens and wise voters. Our taxes which are used for education of the masses were not intended by our forefathers tto be manipulated to serve the welfare of the already affluent few. (See Thomas Jefferson’s words below.)
————————————————————————————————-

Finally, a word to the wise from the pen of Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia and a strong proponent of public education. Jefferson believed in public education for the masses, because he believed that political power shared throughout all classes of society would safeguard democracy, itself, and our democratic Republic. Power cannot be shared unless all of the citizens are educated.

From Jefferson’s “Notes on Virginia – Query XIV”:

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree. This indeed is not all that is necessary, though it be essentiallly necessary. An amendment of our constitution (in Virginia) must here come in aid of the public education. The influence over government must be shared among all the people. If every individual which composes their mass participates of the ultimate authority, the government will be safe; because the corrupting the whole mass will exceed any private resources of wealth; and public ones cannot be provided but by levies on the people.”

(It is also well to remember Jefferson’s words in The Declaration of Independence: “We hold. . .self-evident that all. . .are created equal.”)

hryder

November 16th, 2011
9:58 am

One assures attendance at Walton HS, overall number one public school in Georgia, by purchasing a residence in its attendance zone. The kids who cannot effectively compete, yes compete, move to a less rigorous school since Walton is a charter school. Highly motivated people want Walton as their HS since almost all attending are seeking success in everything they attempt. This is at odds with most public schools’ students motivation as well as a good proportion of private schools’ attendees. Such achievers will always find a way, that is life in the real world, that is survival of the fittest in the real and academic world. So $5000 is just direct payment. Purchasing a property is indirect since all residing in an attendance zone do not have children.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

November 16th, 2011
10:03 am

“The same thing these wealthy people are doing is trying to save money. To take away from the less fortunate people. That is wrong!”

You are wrong thinking. The less fortunate are given many freebies the wealthy are unable to take advantage of and dont ya wanna know why? Because most of the wealthy are willing to scrimp, save and/or work extra hours, jobs, invest their money.

Where as these poor “unfortunates” play the lottery, dont want to work or work extra, spend every dime on $200 tennis shoes for their kids, etc. In other words these poor unfortunates waste is a vice.

dave

November 16th, 2011
10:05 am

HS Public Teacher – Those parents contributing to the football team etc.,… Penn State alums by any chance?

catlady

November 16th, 2011
10:06 am

Hey, ya’ll, I made 4 dozens pints of applebutter at the cannery Thursday. Very good on biscuits. MJG, I will bring you some when I see you again!

RAMZAD

November 16th, 2011
10:07 am

Public schools as we know them are going the way of the pterodactyl. Only those with tunnel vision will not see that. In Georgia the crack in the glass was the Georgia Private School Tax Credit. Prisons have been privatized. Sanitation has been privatized. Transportation has been privatized. Parking management has been privatized. Politicians flirt with all kinds of privatization ideas every day- to get out from under public debt, to gain efficiency, to get out fro under unions and to just let off government deadwood. Anyone who believes that public education has constitutional immunity is a fool.

I agree with privation intensely. I believe that we ought to “burn down” more of these cesspools we call public schools. No education is almost better than what some of these places put out. At least
we can find compassion for someone we expect to be ignorant.

Dennis Van Roekel, Randi Weingarten, and all those dinosaurs need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Cammi317

November 16th, 2011
10:07 am

For the record….with regard to “another comment’s” line about “almost every black parent”…I am single black mother raising a daughter who previously went to charter school and is now in private school and I HAVE NEVER WORN WEAVE, I DRIVE AN SUV, I CUT MY OWN NAILS AND MY CHILD HAS NEVER RECEIVED REDUCED OR FREE LUNCH. As a matter-of-fact, every year the schools both when she was in charter and now in private, forced me to fill out those dumb forms even though I told them she does not qualify. It really annoys me because I personally don’t want school employees knowing my income. I know the reason that they do it is because the more people qualifying for the programs the more money the schools get.

BlueMoon

November 16th, 2011
10:08 am

I believe Cherokee and JB hit the nail on the head…

Charter Schools should be about ANY parent who wants a better education for their kids. Social/Income class should have absolutely nothing to do with it. CHOICE (Freedom for those of you who don’t get that) should be for EVERYONE and quit trapping yourselves under the guise that the current model is the only way to think about education.

Colleges/Universities have forever used a model of public/private funds to pay for the cost of education. Why can’t that model be used for Elementary/Middle/High Schools? Why would we not allow ourselves more options? By using a hybrid model we may be able to bridge the gap between public/private schools and offer a better education for EVERYONE. Freedom is a wonderful thing if you’ll just stop, think and use it.

Bad Guy

November 16th, 2011
10:11 am

The problem here is that our current educational system system has failed most middle-upper class families. It is no secret that most in this class maintain their status through hard work and via a successful educational background.

Our current public education teaches to the lowest common denominator and continually indoctrinates our children into believing that socialism is the only way to happiness. I am sorry but my children have better things to do than tutor those students who are “slower”, which is what some schools call team learning. Free lunches are a good symbol of the sloth promoted by our schools. Do nothing and get something free. I can’t believe we (my family)are am much different than many other middle income family. If it requires us to sacrifice more to seperate our children from those who really do not want to be educated in the first place, but only “watched” and fed during their day, we wold pay whatever the additional price of a charter school to make that happen.

I wish a good charter school would open in our area. We would be on the app list ASAP.

mmm, mmm, mmm Barack the LIAR Obama

November 16th, 2011
10:14 am

Sounds like wealth envy to me.

Samantha

November 16th, 2011
10:18 am

So for you people that are saying ‘what’s wrong with wealthy people getting assistance…HELLO? So you are saying that it’s O.K. for them to also CONTINUE to get welfare? Yes they do also receive food stamps and assistance from the Government. I know this for a fact. When I was in high school as a cashier (not that long ago) I saw MANY people come into the grocery store with diamond rings, fur coats driving Mercedes Benz or other expensive vehicles using food stamps! So there goes your theory!

For those of you that are saying that people that are not wealthy with money must understand that not everyone is lazy. That’s a lie. You must be talking from experience i.e. yourself because you know that you are NOT in the top 1%. :) Honestly most of us aren’t. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy. Actually wealth isn’t always in money.

True story…once when Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis was interviewed she was asked what would she do if she were to lose all of her money…she said she would go to the most expensive restaurant in New York City and order a glass of water. The reason why she said that was because she would sit there and eaves drop on other people conversations for great tips and use them for herself so she can become financially wealthy again.

The main wealth that really matters is the wealth that does not come in money form. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s what you leave behind for your loved ones. Up to the 4th generation…

Anyway just because a person is not in the top 1% of the financial world does NOT mean they are lazy! Only idiots believe that! And you know who you are. :)

Former SPARK parent

November 16th, 2011
10:18 am

Every school that can be wrested from the grip of mediocrities like APS and handed over to parents or ANY other entity (including, yes, for-profit companies!) is a WIN.

Ga educator

November 16th, 2011
10:19 am

Private schools and charter schools offer a higher level of education and challenge to learn for our children. Our public schools are mandated to teach to the level of the students with the slowest, or lowest, abilities and desires to learn. That makes parents, who are interested in their children’s better education opportunities to remove their children from that atmosphere. It has nothing to do with race or social economics. I hold a second job to pay for it and will not deny my children the opportunity to become better educated.