Do charter schools ever kick out students whose parents fail to honor volunteer commitments?

A charter school administrator sent me a note that an ed group opposed to the November charter school amendment “posted a piece of serious misinformation on their Facebook page and web site alleging that charter schools remove students if their parents don’t fulfill the obligations they take on when they enroll their children, such as volunteer hours….It is illegal for any public school to remove a student without due process (commonly known as expulsion).  I challenge them here…to name any Georgia charter school that has removed a student without due process, ever, for this reason.”

It’s a fair question.

Can anyone cite an instance where a student was kicked out of a charter school because parents failed to honor the volunteer commitment in the school’s attendance policy?  (Here is a good story on the role of parent volunteers in charters.)

I know parents who have withdrawn their children from charter schools, even very good ones. They cite the same reasons that parents unhappy with any school usually cite: Their kids weren’t doing well or the parent had a beef with a teacher or administrator.

I get frequent emails and calls from parents upset with their schools, traditional, charters and privates. Typically, the calls speak to problems with class size, discipline, grading policies or gifted/special ed programs.

But charter school parents — especially those using online programs — often pose an additional question: Where do they go to complain? Charter parents are sometimes confused about their routes of appeal when they are unhappy and can’t get satisfaction at the school level. I explain that they can go to the local school board if their kids attend a locally approved charter, but that it’s unclear where they can turn if they are state approved. They may find someone to listen to them at the state level, but the question is finding someone who can also act.

A member of the state Charter Schools Commission — the now defunct commission that would be revived if the constitutional amendment passes next month — told me that parents in commission-approved charters can come to her and other commission members if stymied at the school level.

However, another commissioner told me that the commission was never supposed to act as a court of last resort for individual parent complaints, that they weren’t set up to counsel parents or arbitrate disputes between parents and charter school administrators. Nor is the state board of education interested in charter school parents lamenting how their child is not faring well or received an unfair punishment. Or whether they met their volunteer commitment.

Anyone shed any light on these issues?

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

53 comments Add your comment

LoganvilleGuy

October 3rd, 2012
9:59 am

My question would be this… Can a charter school, after providing due process, remove a student because parents failed to meet their obligations to volunteer? Has it been done before?

If the answer is yes, how was the Facebook page misleading?

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
10:17 am

Loganville Guy, that’s the question: has this in fact ever occurred? It is illegal to remove a student from any public school without due process. The failure of a parent to act, or the actions of a parent, do not constitute legal grounds for removal of a student.

Tonya C.

October 3rd, 2012
10:21 am

My son almost was. He attended Pembroke Pines Charter in South FL a few years ago. I had to scramble to complete the 30 parent hours at the end of the year or he would not be allowed to return back. It was a part of the agreement I signed when I registered him at the school. I didn’t have a problem with it for the quality of education he was receiving at the time.

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
10:21 am

That is an incredibly straightforward question.

No child can be removed without due process. And that is why the charter petition process requires that the charter contract spells out those due process expectations. In the case of Dekalb, all the charter students are given the same 60 page book as everyone else…the parents must sign…the kids take the test.

A parental contract is different than expulsion—but those expectations are also put in the charter petition and vetted by the state for compliance applicable federal and local laws before the charter is approved by the state and local board. So the charter board (the separate non-profit board), the local board and the state board all have authority to make judgements as to the merits of a particular complaint.

In practice it is only when we get to points of policy that boards are to rule… so the appropriate chain of command is….talk to the teacher, talk to the vice-principal, talk to the principal. If you have a problem of the way the principal decides an issue, appeal to the charter board for a ruling which needs to be on a point of the principals to the policy in the charter. If you aren’t satisfied go to the person at the local school level that either is the charter point person/regional area superintendent or if you don’t know the org chart there go to the superintendent’s office and they will probably refer you back to the same legal department (that will then look up the charter or follow the district discipline policies.) In the case of locally approved charter, you could then appeal to the state Charter’s office and through them the state board, but again they are required to stand behind what they approved in the charter and not allow what is illegal or an overreaching of what is stated there.

jd

October 3rd, 2012
10:22 am

Will Mr. Delk be filing complaints against charter school officials and vendors who receive state money yet use the school, and its students (see WSB TV Video) to campaign for the amendment?

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
10:26 am

To Maureen’s question about redress if a parent or student has a complaint: in any public school, there is a grievance procedure laid out in the school handbook (this is a basic requirement for any charter application).

In a district or charter school, the complainant should first discuss the issue with the staff member closest to the issue, usually the classroom teacher. This is true in an online environment or a brick and mortar one. If the complainant is unhappy with the outcome of the discussion, then they may approach the “next in command,” which may be a department chair, assistant principal, or principal, depending on how the handbook outlines the process. At some point, the complainant is asked to put the issue in writing, usually when it gets to the school leader level. Once the complaint has gone through the leader of the school, if the complainant is still unhappy, then the process moves to the central office in a school district, and then on to the board of education, which is the final arbiter. In a charter school, the process would move from the school leader directly to the charter school board of directors, which is the final arbiter in an independent charter school. In a district-authorized charter school, the process would move from the board of directors to the local board of education.

Unless there has a been a breach of the law, then civil court would be the only avenue to seek redress after the board of education or board of directors makes a decision. This is what the State Board of Education, the Charter Schools Division of GaDOE, or the Charter Schools Commission would state to the complainant. In the case of a broken law, of course the authorities would intervene, as well as the SBOE through its administrative agency, GaDOE.

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
10:28 am

Sorry for multiple posts but my internet is up and down and I don’t want to lose what I have written.

Being asked to leave due to the breaking of a parental contract is legally quite different than expulsion. Expulsion goes on the student’s records and affect what other schools that child can enroll in. Because all children have the right to a “free and appropriate public education” an alternative placement must be made available to them after the legally adjudicated tribunal’s finding is served. This is why locally approved charters typically must abide by the same local dicipline policy…because if they are kicked out of the charter the district puts them in the alternative school rather than letting them just dive back into the local school. In a school that functions as it’s own LEA(as commission schools and state only chartered school do) that school must provide the alternative setting.

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
10:29 am

Tonya, what you describe is illegal. I hope the readers note that this occurred in Florida, not Georgia.

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
10:32 am

I would also like to ask if there are any bloggers with children in magnet schools–including the theme school in Dekalb– that have been asked to leave due to non-fulfillment of the terms of the parent contracts that they signed?

LoganvilleGuy

October 3rd, 2012
10:33 am

@Dr. Henson,

So you’re saying that even with a due process hearing, it would be illegal to remove a student because of parental action or inaction?

This assertion was not made in the original article. It merely said it couldn’t be done without due process. It never said that it wasn’t possible.

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
10:34 am

To underscore the illegality of penalizing a student for the actions or inactions of a parent–alternative schools have very clear criteria for how students are referred to them. They are not repositories for kids whose parents don’t fulfill volunteer commitments or otherwise fail to act on an obligation.

Anytime any student is “asked to leave” a public school without due process, and there are very limited circumstances under which expulsion is invoked, the law has been broken. Plain and simple.

Does that mean it never happens? I know of district schools in several states, where I have worked myself and seen it happen, where students have been “asked to leave” illegally, parents have been given misinformation to prevent their child from enrolling, and other illegal activity. I do not know of any charter school in Georgia that has “kicked a student out” for a parent failure to fulfill a volunteer obligation in a signed contract. That’s the question being asked.

3schoolkids

October 3rd, 2012
10:35 am

I have reviewed many charter school enrollment packets and have never seen one that outlines what happens if a parent does not meet the volunteer commitment. I think most reasonable organizations will work with parents who make an effort to be involved and I doubt you will find any evidence of a student being expelled just for this. However, if the volunteer agreement cannot be enforced, doesn’t that put a ding in the claim that charters have more parental participation than the traditional public school?

There is a lot of misinformation being circulated from people on both sides of the issue. I suggest people who haven’t decided yet go directly to the source and read HB797 and HB1162 and decide for themselves and then exercise their right to vote.

BT

October 3rd, 2012
10:42 am

Research and data indicates that this Charter thing is somewhat overrated!!

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
10:45 am

@Loganville Guy: “So you’re saying that even with a due process hearing, it would be illegal to remove a student because of parental action or inaction?”

That’s precisely what the law states, and not just in Georgia. My specific question is, has a Georgia charter school ever kicked a student out for a parent’s failure to complete a volunteer obligation? This is the implication of the posting by the organization referenced in the blog post by Maureen. I posted a comment to that organization’s Facebook page asking them to identify any Georgia charter school that has ever taken this illegal action. My comment was removed and I am unable to post further comments or contact the organization via FB email.

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
10:47 am

3schoolkids, what specific misinformation is being circulated by the pro-amendment side? I read everything that comes across my screen or desk and the misinformation I see is from the anti-amendment side. If there is incorrect information being spread by the pro-charter side, I would issue the same challenge to whomever publicizes it–back up what they allege with facts and specifics.

teacher&mom

October 3rd, 2012
10:56 am

So…if a charter can not remove a student whose parent does not fulfill the contract agreement…then why have an agreement?

What happens if a charter student refuses to wear a uniform? What happens if the online charter school student continues to destroy or damage their school issued computer?

If the charter agreement is never meant to be followed to the letter, then why have a charter?

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
11:02 am

There is a huge difference between being “asked to leave” and “expulsion”. Even Tonya is just saying that the school was assertive about her doing what she had willingly promised.

No school board charter or otherwise wants to pay the legal fees of a civil suit–but many schools both charter and otherwise face the dilemma not being able to set or enforce expectations on parents. If more traditional principals had the backbone (and the backing of their higher-ups) to set higher expectations of the parents we would solve many of our problems. If a charter principal doesn’t deal with problem parents, that becomes part of the chaos many of the other parents went to the school to avoid. If a traditional principal hides in his office (and his higher ups do the same), where is the parent’s recourse?

Tonya C.

October 3rd, 2012
11:06 am

They weren’t expelling him, so it wasn’t illegal. But as a parent, I had essentially signed a contract no different than that of many private schools. They worked with me and wanted him back, but the school relied upon parent volunteers to do their promised part. This is one of the MOST successful charter schools in the State of FL, with a diverse student body, great test scores, and a waiting list three miles long.

If he would not have been re-admitted, there was nothing barring my son from returning to his local public school. But I could not expect him to stay at the charter school when I failed to fulfill a contract I willfully signed. Again, nothing about it was illegal.

Tonya C.

October 3rd, 2012
11:08 am

And if the charters that come out of this amendment are unwilling to operate in a similar manner, this whole vote is a tragic waste. The whole point of charters is innovation and doing things outside the box. Encouraging an apathetic parent population to continue to be sorry doesn’t seem very innovative to me.

Lee

October 3rd, 2012
11:16 am

Anybody else besides me have an issue with the phrase “REQUIRING someone to VOLUNTEER”?

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
11:21 am

And in Dekalb, parents that go to the magnet schools sign contract that say that their continuation in the program is conditional upon the child’s maintaining a certain GPA and the parent fulfilling volunteer hours. For Theme schools the requirements include just the parent’s volunteering and certain discipline issues such as wearing uniforms.

The “probation” and “dropping” the child from the program if the grades are not brought up is spelled out clearly and enforced. The day the kids are told is their last day there is often crying…I know because it happened to one of the kids in my carpool last year, and I got to drive him home to face his mother. Don’t know if this was a life lesson well learned early, or started him down a destructive path. But I do know that the kids take their studies seriously at the school.

PLEASE NOTE—I AM TALKING ABOUT A MAGNET SCHOOL. THIS WOULD BE ILLEGAL IF DONE BY A CHARTER.

Prof

October 3rd, 2012
11:22 am

So far, no-one seems to have given a specific instance where the student had to leave the charter school because of the failure of his/her parents to volunteer at the school. I too am curious. A good friend has just withdrawn her child from a local APS charter school because so many of the other parents wouldn’t volunteer as agreed; and he is now attending a private school.

But if there’s no legal way for the charter school to enforce the parental agreement to volunteer, then that whole aspect of charter schools breaks down–a big selling point for charters.

ARE there any instances out there, as Maureen asked?

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
11:23 am

sorry for typos above

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
11:28 am

@Prof There were none at ICS during the 10 years of my involvement there. I heard rumors that there were some at Chestnut and Druid Hills during the time when it was a charter, but then the central office told them they couldn’t do that. This is why I am so curious about the theme and magnet schools.

To be fair, any parent that isn’t willing to meet volunteer commitments is unlikely to be spending time reading a blog about education.

Wheeler Mom

October 3rd, 2012
12:01 pm

If the charter school is run by the student’s district (or even the state), and they can still go to their home school, then why is this a problem? They are not being denied a free and adequate education – they are just being asked to go back to their home school because they can’t fufill the requirements of the charter school.

This is only what I have heard, nothing I know personally, but from what I understand, KIPP schools are pretty stringent. I don’t know if they have ever asked someone to leave over volunteer hours, but I’ve seen stats that a lot of families can’t hack the KIPP program. I don’t know how many of their withdrawals are at the parent’s request or at the school’s. The kids that stick it out are usually pretty successful.

Tonya C.

October 3rd, 2012
12:10 pm

Wheeler Mom:

You and I tend to see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues. You would make a fun lunch buddy.

Just for the record: I was NOT offended or hurt by the school upholding the rules. Actually, I was impressed. It is the reason I drove out of my and paid for transportation out of pocket for my son to attend the school. Because there was some ’skin in the game’ for the parents, it was reflected in the students, staff, and faculty. It is the reason so many private schools seem like a panacea to so many. There was an actual investment on the part of the parents into making the school good and maintaining a level of excellence.

Prof

October 3rd, 2012
12:19 pm

@ Marny. I see your point…but such readers could include those who are on the charter school’s governing board and would be likely to know. At my friend’s charter school, at least, part of the parent’s volunteer work involved serving on such a board for a period of time.

Jefferson

October 3rd, 2012
12:21 pm

Sounds like gated community envy.

SB

October 3rd, 2012
12:57 pm

I feel like this whole topic misses the point. All students, regardless of whether their parents are engaged in the educational process should have access to a good or great and most definitely appropriate education. By requiring parental involvement and penalizing students for that failure, many students could lose out. And, the comment that students can just go back to their home schools misses the point as well. Public schools, charter or otherwise, are still public schools that all students should have access to. At some point, we all have to recognize that the focus should be on the students and what we need to do as parents, educators and politicians to help all students have access to a good education.

catlady

October 3rd, 2012
1:04 pm

And how often do charter schools “chill out” the parents of students that they don’t wish to take-children with disruptive disabilities, for example? “We can’t meet your child’s needs” sort of thing.

Ignoring the selction that is done even before a child gets into the school, by the rules that are set beforehand. (Learning about, signing up for, sending records, providing transportation, etc)

Tonya C.

October 3rd, 2012
1:14 pm

SB:

That’s not possible. Not with the variables that go into each individual student. At this point, we are catering to the middle…far from the best idea. Your zip code LARGELY determines the quality of education your child receives, and how is that any more fair? This idealization has been beat to death yet too many cling to the hope of it.

I live in Gwinnett. I can assure you that a student at North Gwinnett will have access to a superior learning experience than those at Meadowcreek, and the biggest factors in that are the student body and the surrounding communities. Brookwood High has even educators clamoring to transfer their kids there; Shiloh—not so much. Are we all ready to admit this are is the continuing theme going to be teachers and schools operating as de-facto parents and families?

I, as a parent, value education for MY children. That is all I can do. I cannot force anyone else’s parent or child to do the same. In an effort to ensure a quality education for my kids, I have gone out of my way in selecting schools and communities that share those values. All kids have access to an education; the quality of it is determined largely by the effort they, their parents/families, and communities put into it.

CharterStarter, Too

October 3rd, 2012
1:35 pm

Parent involvement does not equate to volunteering always. Many parent contracts give credit for attending conferences, board meetings, school events, children’s performances, etc., Also, most charters with parent compacts offer volunteer opportunities during the day, weekends, evenings, and over breaks. It takes the opportunity for excuses out of the equation.

Parent involvement contracts/compacts are part of a harter’s culture. It’s like setting rigorous standards for kids – if you set the bar high, they will reach it.

Tonya C.

October 3rd, 2012
1:46 pm

CharterStarter, Too:

You are correct. I should have clarified: those hours did not have to be spent on campus. Opportunities were made available to search for information for teachers online, take home projects, PT conferences, PTA meetings, even donating supplies for the school could easily count for an hour.

Prof

October 3rd, 2012
2:08 pm

@ Charter Starter, Too. But still–Maureen’s question– are those parent compacts legally enforceable? They may be “part of a charter’s culture,” but what happens if they’re ignored?

Still no witnesses to its enforcement. It’s beginning to sound like an urban myth.

Marney

October 3rd, 2012
2:09 pm

There is too much assuming here that volunteer hours are required for every charter. It may be common, but it isn’t universal nor is it THE attribute that folks assume is paramount. It is one expectation that is known to work, and work it does in Theme and Magnet programs as well.

Why don’t we do it everywhere? Why don’t we have a school day based upon today’s typical parent work schedule? Why don’t we have a school year that isn’t a relic of when we needed those kids to work in the fields in the summer? Why can’t we group by ability rather than an age-based grade level system? Why can’t we put books in the hallways and expect the kids to move from classroom to classroom respecting those that are reading there? Why isn’t there recess? Language instruction? Math learned with manipulatives rather then multiplication drill? What about cursive writing?

Because we have become a society that doesn’t agree on priorities, so what comes out of a “one side must fit all” mentality then becomes a “you don’t like it” “too bad, so sad”.

I’m not saying everyone should get everything they desire—but “too bad, so sad” has never applied to those with the money. Could those who are in a happy place with respect to what their children are getting realize that there is no insult intended toward their situation to want something better or different from what is out there for those who aren’t?

It is always and ever about control of the power and the money.

3schoolkids

October 3rd, 2012
2:12 pm

@Dr. Monica Henson: Curiously, I received a flurry of communications just prior to the release of the GCSA powerpoint outlining it’s $1+ million grassroots strategy. They were from existing charter school parents who either misunderstood or misinterpreted information they had heard at meetings. Among the misinformation was: the State Charter Commission would be made up of existing DOE employees only; school district employees are government employees and are not able to provide input about the amendment whereas charter employees are not government employees so they can provide input; there has been no increase in funding for any state charter for 2 years. I do not rely on parent statements to determine my stance and politely asked these parents to read the actual legislation first and I would be glad to discuss it further with them. Wonder why I haven’t heard back from anyone yet?

Is lack of information the same as misinformation? In the case of this amendment I think so. I recently received an email link to a youtube video where a legislator said that state charter school teachers were public school teachers just like in traditional schools since they work for the state and receive state benefits and pensions. I thought the statement was bold considering the same legislator sponsored this bill HB664:

“A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to retirement and pensions, so as to amend certain definitions; to provide that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission may elect to exclude all teachers in a commission charter school from membership in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia; to provide that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission may make an irrevocable election to exclude public school employees from membership in the Public School Employees Retirement Fund; to provide for notice; to provide for a refund of employer and employee contributions; to provide conditions for an effective date and automatic repeal; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes”

If this referendum passes I have a feeling we will be seeing this bill again. But that’s just my opinion.

sneak peak into education

October 3rd, 2012
2:16 pm

I think parental involvement is essential in a student’s success; it has been shown over and over again that parental involvement is the number one indicator to predict student success. I wholeheartedly agree that parents should every school, traditional and charter, should attend conferences, PTA meetings, agree to give a set amount of hours each year to help with the school. I like the idea of a parent contract but know that if it is broken, then there really is not that much the school can do. I certainly don’t agree with kicking the child out.

Hey, CS2, we agree on something!

HS Public Teacher

October 3rd, 2012
2:19 pm

This issue is reminding me of the Healthcare Reform lawsuit…. A lot of money spent, a lot of time spent, a lot of effort spent – for nothing.

Charter schools are a “Trojan Horse” for Georgia education.

In addition, look South to the State of Florida to see what charter schools have done to education there. Why in the world do we want to follow in their footsteps?

The ONLY reason this is being discussed is because the mighty private company(s) involved see making profits from our tax dollars. They are funding the politicans to keep up this issue.

Come on Georgians – be smarter than that!

marm

October 3rd, 2012
3:14 pm

Marney, although there is a requirement at the Theme Schools for mandatory hours, it is not enforced across the board. Having been a Theme parent, I saw first hand how enforcement was done or not done, depending on who was favored. Some schools enforce to the letter, and others did not. If you signed a contract saying you would volounteer 15 hours per year or your child would not be allowed back the following year, the schools should enforce that because many parent don’t take it seriously.

Ron F.

October 3rd, 2012
5:14 pm

Much like in existing public schools, parents who will be involved are involved. I’ve not heard of specific examples of being kicked out or not allowed to attend the following year. So why is the parent agreement, contract, or whatever it’s called such a big cornerstone of the charter movement and bragged about as a requirement? If it’s not enforced, many will figure it out and be as uninvolved as they were in the originial school. I’m not sure that solves anything in the long run.

3schoolkids

October 3rd, 2012
5:52 pm

@Maureen:

I was just on Georgia.gov looking for records of the expired Georgia Charter School Commission and they are GONE. I was just on it last week doing research. Seems to me when we are so close to a vote on the referendum that the least our State could do is make available the work done by the former commission.

sneak peak into education

October 3rd, 2012
7:32 pm

I know this is not directly linked to the subject of this blog but is refers to Charter Schools. I found this web page that contains some wonderful information about charter schools. VOTE SMART GEORGIA. clearly explains who sets to gain if the amendment passes and guess what, it’s not the children, it’s big business. The for-profit charters are funneling in huge amounts of money in the hopes that this will pass. The bill was written by ALEC, an group of policy writers who are backed by corporations and big business-their agenda is to privatize education and put it into the hands of the very corporations and businesses who is funding the policy writers. By the way, Jan Jones, who submitted the bill, is the chair of the educational task force for ALEC. This is just the beginning of their plan to totally privatize Georgia;s public schools.

http://www.votesmartgeorgia.com/whos-funding-the-amendment

If you are going to VOTE NO, please read to confirm the reasons why you are voting no.
If you are on the fence, please read so that you can find out the true motives behind this unnecessary amendment to our states constitution and then VOTE NO.
If you are going to vote yes, please read this and then see if you can still vote that way with a clear conscience, knowing that you will be allowing the take over of public education by big business. It’s not about your children, they want your money.

VOTE NO in NOvember

Nikole

October 3rd, 2012
9:01 pm

This question leads to my issue with charter schools. The parents that take time to apply and volunteer leave public school for charters. I have no problem with that, but don’t then compare my school to the charter and say I’m not doing a good job. I’m doing the best job I can with what I have.

Dr. Monica Henson

October 3rd, 2012
9:47 pm

@3schoolkids, I would certainly not elect, as leader of my charter high school, to remove myself and my staff from the Teachers Retirement System if I were to have that option. We are all veterans of the public school system and participation in TRS was a prime factor in our recruitment to work in our school.

3schoolkids

October 3rd, 2012
10:28 pm

@Dr. Monica Henson: The bill would have given the State Charter Commission the power to decide that for you.

Enough already

October 4th, 2012
12:33 am

I recall when a charter opened last year reading comments among parents on a Facebook page before it was shut down that every ten dollars donated toward classroom supplies would equal one hour of the required volunteer time in the charter. “Can’t buy me love…”

Sandy Springs Parent

October 4th, 2012
12:59 am

My middle schooler attends a conversion charter . 10 hrs per child of volunteer work is mandatory. Towards the end of last year I started asking in the front office how are the Hispanic and black community getting their volunteer hours in. I told the front. Desk lady that everyone of the numerous times I volunteered I had seen zero Hispanics and only a couple of upper class black women and a set of black grandparents along with the constant or so 30 or so White female upper middle class college educated 40 -50 yr + moms . I just got the pleasant smile back we really appreciate you volunteering. We are enforcing that they do volunteer.

This year they have had signs posted up all over that you must register for you volunteer hours and opportunities so we can contact you when we need you all over the school. It has been in each new letter.

Dr. Monica Henson

October 4th, 2012
8:41 am

@3schoolkids, we have not planned to apply for a charter by the Commission if it is reinstated. Our charter is authorized directly by the State BOE. The main benefit that would have accrued to our school from a Commission charter was redirection of local funds, which is the reason why the districts sued to have the Commission declared unconstitutional to begin with.

Spend one full day in an average public metro area school, and you will vote YES!!!

October 4th, 2012
9:21 am

I think it is important to note that there are two types of Charter Schools: a Start-up Charter and a Conversion Charter. A Conversion may not EVER deny a student entry to the school if they live in that attendance zone. That charter school is the only option for folks living in that zone (unless they exercise a different school choice option and go through a lottery somewhere else). A Start-up Charter is opened in communities by locals who are offering an ALTERNATIVE to their local public school, in the same attendance zone. They have a better chance of not allowing students to return if their parents don’t uphold the conditions they agreed to, because the student still legally has another option in their own attendance zone, though I’m still not sure it would be legal, and no one has produced an example yet of someone who has been denied reentry. AND, given that start-up charter schools have gone through all of the work (and it is a LOT OF WORK) to become a start-up school in the first place, I doubt they are generally the type of folks who would kick students out rather than work with parents to try to find an alternative way for that parent to be involved.

Spend one full day in an average public metro area school, and you will vote YES!!!

October 4th, 2012
9:22 am

And yes, buying supplies for the school should be one way. You can either volunteer at a bake sale to raise money for printer ink, or purchase the printer ink outright because you are working two jobs and don’t have time to bake and sit at a table all day… that’s a terrific example of working with families to help them support the school when they can’t volunteer. Another example is that if your school’s library is run by volunteers and you can’t find time to work a shift, you can send in enough funds for a temp to cover your day. That’s thinking outside the box… What good would it do to have an ALTERNATIVE that works exactly the same way the regular school does? No involved parents = low student success.