Charter-school issue a drain on public education

Note: This post contains material published here earlier. It is posted here as the electronic version of my Sunday AJC column.

“The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or post-secondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation.”

— Article VIII, Section I of the Georgia Constitution

As the Georgia Constitution makes clear, public education is supposed to be a primary obligation of state government. Yet in the 2009-1010 school year, legislators financed just 37.8 percent of the cost of educating Georgia students, leaving local government to cover most of the remainder.

It wasn’t always this way. In fact, 20 years ago, the state financed 51.2 percent of the cost of educating Georgia students, leaving local governments to pick up 37.8 percent. (The remainder is covered by federal dollars.) As recently as 10 years ago, the state still honored its constitutional obligation by picking up considerably more of the cost than local governments. But that changed rather quickly beginning in 2003-2004. That year — the first year in which Republicans controlled the state budgeting process — the state share of financing education fell significantly, and it has continued to fall ever since. The trend has allowed state elected leaders to portray themselves as fiscal conservatives while also chastising “free-spending” officials at the local level who have to raise school property taxes to compensate.

But here’s the galling part: As state leaders shirk the primary obligation assigned them under the constitution, they continue to take an ever-more-intrusive approach on non-financial aspects of education. The most obvious current example is the constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot. If approved by voters, the amendment will give state officials full legal authority to create local charter schools even over the protest of locally elected school officials, and to finance those schools with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional state money.

Noting that additional cost and the state’s existing failure to adequately fund public schools, state schools superintendent John Barge, a Republican, came out this week against the proposal. “Until all of our public school students are in school for a full 180-day school year, until essential services like student transportation and student support can return to effective levels, and until teachers regain jobs with full pay for a full school year, we should not redirect one more dollar away from Georgia’s local school districts — much less an additional $430 million in state funds, which is what it would cost to add seven new state charter schools per year over the next five years,” Barge explained.

Local school boards already are creating charter schools around the state as they deem fit, with local voters paying close attention. In Cherokee County, for example, charter-school advocates complained bitterly when the county school board blocked creation of a charter school. They targeted the school board chairman for defeat, hoping to replace her with a charter-school advocate, but they failed. Last month Cherokee voters re-elected that chairman by a large margin, in effect endorsing her cautious approach to charters.

The proposed amendment is intended to strip local officials — and local voters — of the right to make such decisions, placing that power instead in the hands of state officials who are already failing to meet their minimal constitutional obligation to education.

– Jay Bookman

398 comments Add your comment

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

I agree with you on this Jay.

Taxes need to go to public education.

G Mare

August 19th, 2012
1:44 pm

You are right, Jay. Thank you.

Thulsa Doom- "exalted board leader"

August 19th, 2012
2:02 pm

I think the federal govt’s dept of education should take over. They do such a wonderful job at everything else and on only a 25 billion dollar a year budget.

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
2:14 pm

The national Republican ideological agenda has been to disparage traditional public schools so that more private educational corporations (based on profit) can move into the educational field/market for financial gain. Studies, such as the Stanford Study, have shown that charter schools on the average do not fare better than traditional public schools, and many do not perform as well as do traditional public schools. Some are of poor quality. Some are not even monitored for quality.

However, traditional public education does need to change and improve, but it needs to do so, primarily, from within through fully understanding and implementing sound instructional principles such as (1) mastery learning, (2) continuous academic progress of each student according to his or her potential to master instructional concepts at point in time, (3) improving discipline, and (4) supporting of teachers in achieving those ends. Public charter schools might help to improve traditional public education, also, but they must work in collaboration with local school districts and with traditional public schools, not in competition against them. Most importantly, their ultimate goal must be to improve the calibre of students under their care, not the financial gain of their proprietors.

There is no need for an amendment to Georgia’s Constitution because there is already a means for parents to appeal the decision of their local Board of Education not to grant the establishment of a specific charter school in their district. As stated by state Superintendent of Schools John Barge, parents may appeal directly to Georgia’s State Board of Education, and specifically to the state Superintendent of Schools, who will mediate differences between parents and local Boards of Education. (I wish to express, again, a public thank you to Dr. Barge for his courageous stand in behalf of ALL of the school children in Georgia.)

http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/a-monumental-choice-for-americas-future-character-and-destiny/

Happy Walker

August 19th, 2012
2:19 pm

liberals care nothing about educating children it is all about spending money to buy votes. Harsh but all the evidence says this is true.

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
2:19 pm

Wrong link in my above post. I had meant to share the following link, which gives more detailed information on “Mastery Learning”:

https://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/about-education-essay-1-mastery-learning/

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 19th, 2012
2:23 pm

The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” — P.J. O’Rourke

Happy Walker

August 19th, 2012
2:36 pm

The new public schools that I have seen recently built don’t suggest a shortage of money.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
2:37 pm

There is no better way to prove something doesn’t work than to continuously strip funding while claiming that too much money is already being spent with nothing to show for it.

After one more generation of this stuff, we’ll be so undereducated as a country, low wage jobs will be received as manna from heaven. There will be very few that will have an education sufficient enough to know how to plug a lamp into an electrical outlet without harming themselves.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
2:41 pm

When you see these rediculous comments from Democrats on this blog it’s so revealing to how out of touch with reality they are. Here’s a simple fact. Children are better educated today in America than ever before in our country. There are more highschool and college graduates now (even when you factor in population growth) than ever before in our country. So Democrats, what were you saying again about how terrible America is?

Thomas

August 19th, 2012
2:42 pm

Other than being able to kill bad guys remotely with a drone the gov’t on all levels has been an abysmal failure. The leftist are continuing to try to push a failed model. The great Amercian taxpayer (fewer every day) is tired of paying for lobster while having rabbit turds thrown at them.

Cut the cutesy monikers such as no child left behind and dramatically change the system of providing education such as the stone aged approach of bricks and mortar and move forward. Until then folks will figure out work ways to work around the failed system we have now.

Jay- thank you for the local story.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 19th, 2012
2:45 pm

When you see these rediculous[sic] comments from Democrats on this blog it’s so revealing to how out of touch with reality they are.

Oh, the irony.

tinkerella

August 19th, 2012
2:51 pm

Gotta keep folks dumb enough to keep voting these idiots in office. None of these guys EVER sent their kids to public schools so they really don’t care about educating our kids. The corporations that want to take it all over can sniff out a a deep money train from the government meanwhile their lobbyists line the legislators’ pockets to try to stuff this down our throats by passing folks the line of “school choice”. Really? You think your kid is going to be lucky enough to get into these schools? They will find a way to keep ‘em out. You want real choice, home school.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
2:51 pm

Another thing to, if I hear another Democrat talk about tax returns I’m gonna puke. It’s really appalling that uneducated Democrats are taken advantage of and force fed a bunch of garbage from the Obama adminisration to gain votes. It’s as if Democrats think that rich Democrats pay more in taxes than rich Republicans. It’s as if Democrats think profit or capital gain are bad words. This moron yesterday was making an argument that Mitt Romney made millions from investments and it wasn’t fair because he didn’t “work” for this income? What do Democrats think about gains on Americans 401K retirement plans. Do the employees “work” for these gains? Do Democrats think these gains are unfair? The idea that there shouldn’t be any incentives to invest money or any incentives to do business in America is so incredibly dumb and clearly shows how naive Democrats are to how business works. When a Democrat says how can a corporation not pay federal income taxes they seem to forget that these corporations are who employ the majority of Americans. Even if you don’t work directly for a major corporation businesses are tied together in many different ways. So Democrats believe that these corporations who provide for millions of Americans should be given absolutely no incentives at all. Wow, that’s truly brilliant!

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

The new public schools that I have seen recently built don’t suggest a shortage of money.

One only needs to ask themselves whether or not the school is paid in full at the time it’s completed or if bonds have been floated for upteen years to understand why it would appear there is no shortage of money when that is not the case in reality.

—————————

Children are better educated today in America than ever before in our country. There are more highschool and college graduates now (even when you factor in population growth) than ever before in our country.

When you consider the technological advances made in the past 30 years, that’s not hard to figure out. I wouldn’t necessarily say that children are better educated today either. Children have access to better aids in learning that may give the appearance they’re better educated. When I was entering high school almost 20 years ago, it was taboo to have a calculator in math class. Graphing calculators were just coming into the market as well. Nowadays, there’s maybe 3 students that don’t have calculators.

So Democrats, what were you saying again about how terrible America is?

Nothing says “I can’t refute your essay, Jay” better than throwing out hyperbole on the first page and within the first 10 posts.

:lol: :lol:

G Mare

August 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

gadem

August 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

Woodstock, we live in a global economy. We may be a better educated America, but the world is far better educated than we are now. In order to be able to compete we must invest in education. Businesses hire those that are best qualified, not just those that are American.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
2:52 pm

“When you see these rediculous[sic] comments from Democrats on this blog it’s so revealing to how out of touch with reality they are.

Oh, the irony.”

This is a true Democrat. Make some kind of sarcastic comment and provide zero information. What a joke.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 19th, 2012
2:53 pm

Well, we’re in a rain delay up here,dang it, and I just got to put in my two cents worth on this schooling junk. I think schooling is over-rated. Just look at most of the people on this blog. They can’t spell and can’t cipher but they know the solution to every problem we got. That more or less proves you don’t need schools to do good in this world.

If I could just have the money I have to pay for schools I could teach little Nathan Zell George the things he needs to know—like how to change spark plugs and run a chainsaw and how to shoot good. But no, I got to pay taxe so these pointy-heads can get in the way of us going to NASCAR races and such. And they’ll lock you up if you don’t send your kids, at least till they’re 16.

As for charter vs. regular schools, I guess I favor charter because if you’re going to have the things, somebody might as well make a profit on them and charter lets folks that own the schools do that. Otherwise, they can all go hang. Ever notice that the only new cars on the road have those Educator tags on them? That ought to tell you something.

Have a good Sabbath everybody. Now watch this drive!

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
2:55 pm

It’s really appalling that uneducated Democrats…

This, from a poster who’s already had…“rediculous” and “adminisration” pop up from his keyboard in 10 minutes. Before calling someone uneducated or blasting education, it would help if you used spellcheck before posting. That is, unless you’re secretly some secret uneducated Democrat.

:roll:

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
2:57 pm

“We may be a better educated America, but the world is far better educated than we are now. In order to be able to compete we must invest in education.”

Not sure what you mean by the world is far better education than American. Where? Europe is in shambles, China is showing signs of weakening, and American companies still completely dominate the world… You make a great point though, the global ecomomy is much more competitive, if you aren’t educated it’s more difficult now to make a living. And in America we have an increasing amount of our population that are too lazy to get educated, too lazy to work, they can only survive by government entitlements. This is becoming a major issue.

David Farrior

August 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

Life Force. a charter school in Dunedin, Fl. is a great example of a charter school disaster. This
institution catered to low income minority students and received approximately one million dollars
annually from the Pinellas Bd. of Education. Teacher’s were paid at the substuite rate and had
no benefits. There was no money allloted for instructional materials, school maintence and
custodial expenses. Needless to say, the Headmaster and Board of Directors were well
compensated in the amount of several hundred thousands of dollars. The curriculum was
furnished by the Church of Scientiology. Academic achievement was minimal.
Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Times did a Sunday Front pate expose on school this spring
and Supt. and School Board closed Life Force at the end of this school year.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
2:58 pm

“This, from a poster who’s already had…“rediculous” and “adminisration” pop up from his keyboard in 10 minutes. Before calling someone uneducated or blasting education, it would help if you used spellcheck before posting. That is, unless you’re secretly some secret uneducated Democrat.”

I type fast and don’t care about spell check. But, once again, another sarcastic comment from a Democrat with nothing to say…

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
2:59 pm

Brosephus-

And guess what, using spellcheck hadly means you are educated, just an FYI…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

August 19th, 2012
2:59 pm

“When spell-check is outlawed, only outlaws will have spell-check.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:05 pm

I bet you Democrats are so proud of Obama accusing Mitt Romeny of killing someone. You must be proud of Obama when he says Paul Ryan doesn’t want elderly people to have health care, he wants to just leave them to die… LOL

When Democrats make these statements (and when the President of the United States sponsors these kinds of campaign adds) it really shows their true colors.

Bernie

August 19th, 2012
3:09 pm

This entire plan is being proposed, presented and with full throated support from the The Republican Party. The Party we have been always TOLD, in no uncertain terms of a un-compromisable belief of:

* Less Government,
* Less Government intrusion into our personal lives,
* Less Government in supporting of local school board decisions over local
educational needs,(Because, they are closer and know better the needs of the
community),
* Less Government mandates of BIG GOVERNMENT run programs, that
continually to waste taxpayers money.

Now, they (Republicans) want All of US to vote and support the Governor’s proposal to move forward with a $430 million “New” State Funded “Welfare” Education Program that will SURELY NOT DELIVER, as claimed or as promised. While
purposely and with great intent to further decimate the current Public Education systems and budgets, ALL over Georgia.

Futher more, this untested and unproven State wide Charter School Plan will only Benefit a very small select few of Georgia’s students, while ignoring the most basic needs for the MAJORITY of Georgia’s student population. Nothing about this Plan says ” THIS IS A SMART MOVE! . Especially now, when there is such STATE WIDE economic distress ongoing.

Hello Mississippi !…….Our students along with the rest of Georgia will be joining you shortly, in the Race to be First to the Bottom!

Faster, than you can say ” One Chick-Fil-A sandwich Meal with fries and a Large Sweet Tea, Please!”

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
3:10 pm

As the front page of today’s AJC points out, Georgia’s graduation rate is 67.4%. (The lowest rate of the seven Southern states that reported.) That means that 1/3 of Georgia’s students are not graduating from high school. Yet, over four billion dollars have been cut from Georgia’s legislative funding for public education in the past decade. Improvement in public education must happen. I urge serious readers of educational matters to reread my post of 2:14 pm, and my link provided at 2:19 pm, for substantive solutions to improving public education throughout the state.

Encouraging Georgia’s Legislature to address poverty effectively so that students will not invariably enter kindergarten and/or first grade far behind their peers academically – which will create wide instructional variances in the early elementary years – is another substantive solution to Georgia’s high dropout rate.

Georgia certainly does not need a State Commission for Charter Schools which will end up drawing more money from traditional public schools through authorizing more privately implemented charter schools, which may use children for profit. (See my next post for details about this.) Vote “No” on the amendment to Georgia’s Constitution in November.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:12 pm

This education topic shows the real difference in Democrats and Republicans. Of course Democrats are sitting back blaming the government for their failures in the public school system. Children’s education starts at the home. I know teachers in Cobb county, by far and away most children that struggle have major issues at the home. It’s sad when Democrats want to blame the government for their own failures in educating their children. My son goes to a public school in Cherokee county and I couldn’t be happier. The teachers and administration do an incredible job. The school has done fantastic on their state tests in all grade levels. But if you read a few quotes from these Democrats you’d think Georgia public schools were a disaster which simply isn’t anywhere close to being the truth.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
3:12 pm

I type fast and don’t care about spell check. But, once again, another sarcastic comment from a Democrat with nothing to say…

Not a Democrat, so thanks for proving your failure once again. What you consider sarcastic is simply me pointing out the truth. You’re the one coming here pissing vinegar about education and can’t even spell worth a flip.

And guess what, using spellcheck hadly means you are educated, just an FYI…

Nope it doesn’t, but not being able to turn it own does show that you can’t click a simple button. I also have enough of an education to not come here calling a group of people uneducated and prove my uneducatedness at the same time in one fell swoop. Keep flailing though. You’re good entertainment after a rough day at work. I need a good laugh.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:14 pm

“As the front page of today’s AJC points out, Georgia’s graduation rate is 67.4%. (The lowest rate of the seven Southern states that reported.)”

Mary Elizabeth, you seem like you know quite a bit about this issue. So, do you blame the government for a 67.4% graduation rate or the kids parents who didn’t care if they went to school or not?

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
3:14 pm

Please read the following excerpt, from the link below, to better understand the business interest in profit that exists within the current national drive toward more charter schools:
=====================================================

“While nonprofit charter schools are more pervasive than their for-profit counterparts, for the quarter of charters that are for-profit, the obvious problem is that the drive to make a profit will compromise educational quality. And for-profits and non-profits are under similar pressure to expand as quickly as possible.

Edison Schools Incorporated is one of the largest for-profit charter school companies. It ran twenty schools in Philadelphia alone until it was discredited this year. With board members like John Chubb of the Hoover Institution and Brookings Institution, it made a bald-faced attempt to turn millions of dollars in profits by controlling 157 schools. (Not very successfully, though; it was traded on the NASDAQ for four years but only showed one quarter of profitability.33) The most fundamental problem with a private model of education is that a company’s profits depend directly on cost-cutting. The cheaper the services they provide, just as in private prisons and hospitals, the more profit they turn. So there is always an incentive to do things on the cheap—poorly maintained physical plant and equipment, low pay for teachers and other staff, and larger class sizes mean bigger rates of return.

The dynamic works in fundamentally similar ways with nonprofit entities. The pressure to cut costs in order to have money left over for expansion forces nonprofit entities to act in a similar fashion to their for-profit cousins. Every nonprofit charter operator is under immense pressure right now to expand as quickly as possible and to measure success by how quickly they are able to replicate themselves. The newest mandate from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is that we need to close thousands of broken inner-city schools and replace them with charters. There is fierce competition over who will get the contracts, especially among nonprofits. And nonprofits are, of course, allowed to pay their administrators very high salaries as well as keeping a small profit.

And then there is corruption. Celerity, a nonprofit charter school that made an attempt to co-locate on the campus of Wadsworth Elementary in Los Angeles, contracts out all its services to a for-profit firm, Nova, run by the same owner. This backdoor model—of a nonprofit funneling dollars to a separate, for-profit entity—is common. Kent Fischer explained it in the St. Petersburg Times:

The profit motive drives business…. More and more, it’s driving Florida school reform. The vehicle: charter schools. This was not the plan. These schools were to be “incubators of innovation,” free of the rules that govern traditional districts. Local school boards would decide who gets the charters, which spell out how a school will operate and what it will teach. To keep this deal, lawmakers specified that only nonprofit groups would get charters. But six years later, profit has become pivotal…. For-profit corporations create nonprofit foundations to obtain the charters, and then hire themselves to run the schools.34

Whether it’s technically legal, ‘contracting out’ or direct corruption and profiteering, abounds. In their article ‘The Corporate Surge Against Public Schools,’ Steven Miller and Jack Gerson cite many cases of such corruption. Brenda Belton, charter oversight chief for the D.C. Board of Education, admitted to arranging $650,000 in sweetheart contracts for herself and her friends, and C. Steven Cox, CEO of a large chain of charter schools in California, was indicted on 113 felony counts of misappropriating public funds.35″

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

Brosephus-

I didn’t realize this was a spelling test. I will make sure to proof read for you. LOL

Guess what, I was a good speller in school, can you believe it?? And I have a college degree, wow, isn’t that unbelievable??

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

Bro – no ABM

How about LBM (laughing black man) :-)

Soothsayer

August 19th, 2012
3:16 pm

If the State of Georgia has shirked it’s Constitutional duty to provide for the education of its children, why, then didn’t we have a concomitant reduction in the state income tax? What are they doing with the extra money since they’re not spending it on education? They sure as hell aren’t spending it on infrastructure.

Thank goodness, I only have a few more years of “education” tax on my property. Hallelujah!

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:17 pm

Mary Elizabeth -

Who’s fault is it for a 67.4% graduation rate? The government or the parents? Who is more at fault? Please answer.

JKL2

August 19th, 2012
3:18 pm

brosephus- After one more generation of this stuff, we’ll be so undereducated as a country, low wage jobs will be received as manna from heaven. There will be very few that will have an education sufficient enough to know how to plug a lamp into an electrical outlet without harming themselves.

Maybe we could work on getting a better product to send to school. With no family structure to push the child to get an education, the kid could care less about how they do in school. No amount of money spent on fancy buildings and digital classrooms will educate a kid who doesn’t want to be there.

It is doing wonders for filling our prison system though….

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2012
3:21 pm

I see the Georgia high school dropout rate is higher now that it is being measured more accurately. Isn’t there a tax cut that will fix that too.

bob

August 19th, 2012
3:21 pm

Why can’t we educate kids in APS at 15K a pop ? Why can we educate kids at St. Pius for 10K a year ? If repubs are stripping money from pulbic education I would like to see a year when expendietures actually go down, then I will believe it.

Jay

August 19th, 2012
3:25 pm

Tuition at St. Pius and per-pupil costs in APS are roughly the same.

The student bodies they serve are not similar.

Jay

August 19th, 2012
3:27 pm

And while nobody argues that Georgia schools are good enough, the fact remains that they have improved significantly. Those who claim that today’s schools are worse than those of a generation ago have little to no statistical evidence to back that up.

Two things have changed in that generation:

1. The minimum level of education needed to prosper has increased, and
2. The economic consequences of not attaining that level of education have also increased.

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
3:28 pm

“Mary Elizabeth, you seem like you know quite a bit about this issue. So, do you blame the government for a 67.4% graduation rate or the kids parents who didn’t care if they went to school or not?”
======================================

I am not about “blaming”; I am about “improving.” There are no simple answers to your question posed, and substantive answers cannot be found through seeing only in terms of the two-choice dichotomy which you present. If you want to explore possibilities for educational improvement in more depth, then I urge you to read my link which provided at 2:19 pm on “Mastery Learning,” which will explain instructional truths in detail. The populace in the state of Georgia who want meaningful improvement in public education – including teachers, parents, administrators, State Board of Education personnel, and legislators – must address the instructional truths which I have presented in my 2:19 pm link, if they want to see sustained improvement in the academic standing of all of Georgia’s school children, permanently over time.

JKL2

August 19th, 2012
3:29 pm

mary elizabeth- The profit motive drives business…. More and more, it’s driving Florida school reform. The vehicle: charter schools

So let me get this straight. Greedy corporations can create charter schools that educate children at the same level as public schools for the same price or cheaper. Therefore, your professional educators in the public schools are wasting extreme amounts of money. We should be working to decrease their funding instead of listening to all whining about how they are all going broke.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:30 pm

It’s truly amazing to hear Democrats blame the government for high school drop out rates. There’s always an exception but by far and away PARENTS are to blame if they allow their 14-18 year old child quit school. Blaming the government for your own kid quitting school, that’s pathetic.

TM

August 19th, 2012
3:31 pm

If its the State’s responsibility to pay for the education of the kids then we should let them pay for it and abolish all local school boards. Don’t need local school boards it its the primary obligation of the State.

Mr_B

August 19th, 2012
3:32 pm

Woodstock:

“Children are better educated today in America than ever before in our country. There are more highschool and college graduates now (even when you factor in population growth) than ever before in our country. So Democrats, what were you saying again about how terrible America is?

I don’t know of anyone on the Democratic side of the aisle that claims American education is terrible. It’s the Republicans who can’t stand “throwing money at failing public schools.” Our kids are better educated than ever before, and they damn well better be. There are plenty of other countries around the world that are ready to eat our cornflakes if we take our eyes off the goal of educating all our students; not just the ones with committed and involved parents, but the kids that are functionally homeless, the kids who have already made bad choices, and the kids that never got to make any choices at all.
It’s hard work that takes a lot of dedication and sometimes it also takes money. But if we fail to do it, you’re going to be looking for protection from the kids that we decided weren’t worth it to educate.

Jay

August 19th, 2012
3:32 pm

So let me get this straight. Greedy corporations can create charter schools that educate children at the same level as public schools for the same price or cheaper.

Actually, they can’t. Your argument falls apart from the beginning.

Woodstock Mike

August 19th, 2012
3:33 pm

“I am not about “blaming”; I am about “improving”

Thanks Mary Elizabeth, I am also about improving, this is why I encrourage parents to spend time with their children, do their homework with them, read with them, encourage them to do well in school, reward them when they do well, please don’t sit back and think the government is going to educate your child for you.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
3:34 pm

Guess what, I was a good speller in school, can you believe it?? And I have a college degree, wow, isn’t that unbelievable??

Nope, it’s not unbelievable. Here on the internet, we can be whomever we want to be. I could be the director of the NSA listening in to your conversations.

However, I tend to take people at their words, so I guess it’s believeable that you accomplished both of those things. Kudos to you!!

————————–

It is doing wonders for filling our prison system though….

Really??

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2009/02/sentencing-children-for-kickbacks.php

Last week, a story emerged from Luzerne County, in northwest Pennsylvania: Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, two powerful local judges, pled guilty in federal court to corruption charges. They had taken $2.6 million in kickbacks from a private company running detention facilities. In return for the money, the judges kept the company’s facilities brimming with inmates, and the local government paid the company a generous amount per incarcerated person. Everyone involved got rich, and the taxpayers got robbed.

But the worst part was not the obvious dishonesty and greed that motivated these judges to sell their robes, or even that they profited by incarcerating people who did not belong there. The worst part was that these were detention centers for juveniles. Ciavarella and Conahan filled these prisons with children. They made money by taking kids guilty of minor crimes – setting up an online satire of an assistant principal, stealing a $4 bottle of nutmeg, getting into a fight with another kid –and putting them into these juvenile prisons. The evidence so far indicates that Judge Ciavarella was two and a half times more likely to incarcerate kids than other judges in Pennsylvania were. And he and Judge Conahan made money – lots of money – doing this.

And we both know that those are the only two judges to ever do such a dastardly deed.

:roll:

Mr_B

August 19th, 2012
3:37 pm

“Greedy corporations can create charter schools that educate children at the same level as public schools for the same price or cheaper.”

Except that they don’t. Check out Bibb County’s experience with Edison Schools.

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2012
3:38 pm

It’s truly amazing to hear Democrats blame the government for high school drop out rates.

Wow! Did someone really do that. That’s really amazing.

Mary Elizabeth

August 19th, 2012
3:41 pm

To be more fully informed regarding the politics behind the Amendment of Georgia’s Consitution to establish a special State Commission for Charter Schools (which would be appointed, not elected), I urge readers to read the following article, in full, written by Jack Hassard, a writer and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University, from the link which I provide, below. Here is an excerpt from Professor Hassard’s article:
————————————————————-

“One of the consequences if the charter amendment passes is the loss of local control of some educational policies. If the amendment is approved, then the state commission will run a parallel school system that will take more than $400 million from the already stretched education budget in the state. Money and decision-making are at the heart of the charter school issue in Georgia, not the improvement of education or options for parents and students.

If the Georgia charter amendment is approved it will result in an increase in politics and influence peddling in the context of multimillion dollar opportunities by establishing charter schools in various counties in each state. Real estate investment firms will find a pot of gold here.. Firms will come in to buy land and/or empty buildings (schools, factories) and then in turn lease them to for-profit charter school management companies, such as. . . Academica, or Charter Schools USA. Boston recently worked out a deal in the interests of corporate investors.”
———————————————————————–

Please read the article, in full, below:

http://www.artofteachingscience.org/2012/08/18/give-charters-we/

Mr_B

August 19th, 2012
3:41 pm

“Who’s fault is it for a 67.4% graduation rate? The government or the parents? Who is more at fault? Please answer.”

Meaningless question.
Ask instead “What can we do to adequately educate every child?”
Locally approved and controlled charters might be the answer in some localities. If so, the local parents decide and decide how to pay for them.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
3:44 pm

Jay @ 3:27

You would also have to account for advances in technology. Kids are also having to learn different things that nobody thought about in previous generations.

JKL2

August 19th, 2012
3:47 pm

mary elizabeth- Encouraging Georgia’s Legislature to address poverty effectively so that students will not invariably enter kindergarten and/or first grade far behind their peers academically

Bringing a whole new meaning to “nanny state”.

TM

August 19th, 2012
3:48 pm

Those who want Charter schools can’t afford private schools and want a free hand out from the State. If they would support the local school with the same enthusiasm there would be success.

USMC

August 19th, 2012
3:50 pm

“Charter-school issue a drain on public education”–Jay Bookman

Tell that to the families in Grant Park who have had to create charter schools to educate their children.

Once again, as usual, Jay Bookman finds himself on the wrong side of the issue.

So I guess Jay Bookman is continuing to protect the Atlanta Public Schools and other corrupt entities. Surprised??? No. :-)

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
3:50 pm

My take on the lack of parental involvement boils down to the stress the parents are under.

With the economy upside down for the last 10 years parents are working longer hours, sometimes 2 and 3 jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over their childrens heads.

Where is the time available to spend the time necessary to help the children at home?

Yes, all parents need to find some time working with their children. If we gut the public education budget in favor or charter schools and the charter schools fail to educate where will we be?

I went to a Catholic school through the 8th grade and my parents also paid taxes to the public school system. That has always been the model that has worked. Parents make the SACRIFICE to put their children in private schools not EXPECT the government to subsidize their CHOICE.

IMO

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
3:51 pm

You would also have to account for advances in technology. Kids are also having to learn different things that nobody thought about in previous generations.

My 6-year-old is in a school program that will have her creating a PowerPoint presentation before the end of the school year. Us “old folks” are struggling with that one here….

USMC

August 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

“Those who want Charter schools can’t afford private schools and want a free hand out from the State. If they would support the local school with the same enthusiasm there would be success.”TM

TM you are obviously ignorant to the realities of the inner city schools here in Atlanta.
Grant Park is a great example of why Charter Schools are needed.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

NoCom @ 3:50

Didn’t go to private school, but I agree with you 100%. LBM is happy!!

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

Tell that to the families in Grant Park who have had to create charter schools to educate their children.

USMC once again fails to grasp the issue. Grant Park created the charter school… not the state of Georgia. Why do you want to give the state the money and power to do what the local people can already do if they identify the need?

Soothsayer

August 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

Those who want Charter schools can’t afford private schools and want a free hand out from the State. If they would support the local school with the same enthusiasm there would be success.”

I couldn’t agree more.

But, the real issue is not charter vs. public schools. The Fright-Wing want taxpayers to subsidize their Christian schools in violation of separation of Church and State.

Try this out: if you want to send your children to Christian schools, you should be willing to pay for it yourself. Don’t expect me to chip in.

JKL2

August 19th, 2012
3:52 pm

Mr_B- Ask instead “What can we do to adequately educate every child?”

Get better parents. It used be an embarrassment to have a bastard child. Now the left encourages it.

Jay

August 19th, 2012
3:53 pm

USMC, the Grant Park charter school was created with the full approval of APS, which demonstrates that the current system works. You are attempting to lecture beyond your knowledge base.

TM

August 19th, 2012
3:54 pm

Last I looked Grant Park had 2 or 3 elementary schools. Whats the problem?

Soothsayer

August 19th, 2012
3:56 pm

Oh, and guess what? This Constitutional amendment is going to meet the same fate as that TSPLOST proposal.

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
3:57 pm

This Constitutional amendment is going to meet the same fate as that TSPLOST proposal.

Only if people are educated on it, because the wording of the amendment is intentionally vague and confusing.

USMC

August 19th, 2012
3:58 pm

Jay, you said Charter Schools are a drain on public education.
I merely pointed out that they are very successful in the inner city neighborhoods.
You have argued against Charter Schools. I am arguing for them.
I think your limited background knowledge of Atlanta’s public schools and your backing of a corrupt system hurts your credibility.
Not every kid in the city of Atlanta can go to Grady, Jay. :-)

JKL2

August 19th, 2012
3:59 pm

soothsayer- Try this out: if you want to send your children to Christian schools, you should be willing to pay for it yourself. Don’t expect me to chip in

Why do you hate children so much? Doesn’t everyone deserve an education?

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
3:59 pm

Somehow voting for an amendement worded to say “I love sunshine and rainbows” is the same as voting for letting the state send $430 million to private corporations for schools no one wants.

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
4:02 pm

No, USMC, that’s not what Jay argued at all. You really need to work on your reading comprehension skills. It’s just making you look bad.

USMC

August 19th, 2012
4:02 pm

“soothsayer- Try this out: if you want to send your children to Christian schools, you should be willing to pay for it yourself. Don’t expect me to chip in”-Soothsayer

Yeah, I am sure Soothsayer really “chips in” a ton of money for education. LOL! :-)

TM

August 19th, 2012
4:02 pm

“I think your limited background knowledge of Atlanta’s public schools and your backing of a corrupt system hurts your credibility.”
I don’t think you want to go there….It appears you are the one who doesn’t know how to improve a school without begging for a hand out.

Jay

August 19th, 2012
4:03 pm

The proposed amendment, as I explain above, would give the state the power to overrule local school boards regarding charters, USMC.

Citing a locally approved charter as evidence for the need of state-approved charters is nonsensical. Instead, your “evidence” is proof that the current system works just fine.

USMC

August 19th, 2012
4:03 pm

“No, USMC, that’s not what Jay argued at all. You really need to work on your reading comprehension skills. It’s just making you look bad.”–Byteme

Not to worry Bite me. I’m not too concerned about your opinion. :-)

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

It seems to me that if every county gets several Charter Schools it will make them compete.

Not with the level of their education but for the very students (and their parents). That will mean increased ADVERTISING budgets for the schools.

Or it will increase the possibilities of bribes at the state level.

Maybe the politicians need a new revenue stream with the new ethics law being voted on. LOL

:-)

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
4:07 pm

Maybe the politicians need a new revenue stream with the new ethics law being voted on. LOL

There is THAT possibility.

:lol:

USMC

August 19th, 2012
4:08 pm

Jay has argued against Charter Schools in the past and now is changing his tune.
Most of Jay’s articles contain his nonsensical rubbish; Illegal Immigration, Affirmative Action; Homosexual Marriage, Anti-Charter Schools, Racial politics, etc.
So what else is new? :-)

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
4:10 pm

Jay has argued against Charter Schools in the past and now is changing his tune.

Only one changing his tune here is you and your strawman arguments. Do document where Jay has argued against locally created charter schools? Put up or admit you were wrong.

TM

August 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

“Most of Jay’s articles contain his nonsensical rubbish; Illegal Immigration, Affirmative Action; Homosexual Marriage, Anti-Charter Schools, Racial politics, etc.
So what else is new?”

I now see why USMC wants Charter schools—He needs to learn basic reading and comprehension.

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
4:13 pm

I now see why USMC wants Charter schools—He needs to learn basic reading and comprehension

Seems the only one here USMC is looking to impress is himself.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
4:13 pm

My 6-year-old is in a school program that will have her creating a PowerPoint presentation before the end of the school year.

ByteMe

That’s just one of numerous examples of why I don’t think you can compare educational differences of the generations. As time progresses, technology is advancing much faster than it can be learned by many of us. Two generations ago, algebra would have been an advanced math class for high schoolers. Nowadays, algebra is considered advanced math for 7th or 8th graders. A high school senior in 1982 would not have had a clue about power point and such, but now a 6 year old is learning how to use it.

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
4:14 pm

So. What happens to the students when the Charter school they attended for several years is found not up to par?

If they are in high school they will probably drop out (how many want to be in high school till they’re 20).

From what I have been reading it will several years into the trial before the school can be judged adequate or not.

Why don’t Regressives care about the kids? :-)

It cuts both ways guys.

Jay

August 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

“Jay has argued against Charter Schools in the past and now is changing his tune.”

USMC is either very ill-informed or lying. I have always supported charter schools as an option that the local school board ought to have at its disposal.

As I wrote on this topic back in February:

“Furthermore, no such change is needed to create a healthy, thriving charter school movement in Georgia, because such a movement already exists. The state Department of Education lists more than 135 charter schools, most of them approved by local school boards, and the list continues to grow. That’s great; charter schools are a necessary, useful and valued option.

However, the language in the amendment goes far beyond charter-school funding. If enacted, it would put great new power in the hands of legislators eager to dismantle the state’s public education system.”

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

Nowadays, algebra is considered advanced math for 7th or 8th graders

My generation, algebra was 8th grade. I did it in 7th and was considered “advanced”.

I told my daughter about her making PowerPoint presentations and told her that if she needed help, she could ask her brother to show her how to make the text fly in and out of the page. He’s five. :)

Hourglass

August 19th, 2012
4:16 pm

Thanks for keeping us informed on this one Mr. Bookman! I will be voting NO to this amendment in November.

Brosephus™

August 19th, 2012
4:18 pm

ByteMe

When she’s done, ask her how much she’ll charge to tutor me. :)

Brad Steel

August 19th, 2012
4:19 pm

“This is a true Democrat. Make some kind of sarcastic comment and provide zero information. What a joke.”

More irony? Or is your whole men a gag, WS Mike?

Soothsayer

August 19th, 2012
4:19 pm

This whole argument is very simple. The Fright-Wing, who want to send their children to private Christian schools, want a “credit” (or reduction) in their county property taxes for the tuition to those Christian schools.

If they receive a credit, then that means that the rest of us have to pay more to fund the existing schools that we already have. That’s because most of those costs are “fixed” and will not be reduced by your sending your children to Christian schools.

My argument, once again, is that if you want to send your children to private Christian schools, that’s your business. Don’t expect a reduction in your local property taxes. And, don’t expect the rest of us to fund it. OK?

ByteMe

August 19th, 2012
4:19 pm

What happens to the students when the Charter school they attended for several years is found not up to par?

See Clayton County. Got their accreditation pulled and it created all kinds of problems for seniors.

Brad Steel

August 19th, 2012
4:20 pm

“USMC is either very ill-informed or lying. ” You’re too generous, Bookman.

JamVet

August 19th, 2012
4:20 pm

USMC once again demonstrates that he never gets tired of putting his feet in his mouth. And then putting a smiley face icon after it.

Between that and generally not knowing what the hell he is talking about, the guy is a laugh riot…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIBo1k916y0

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
4:22 pm

getalife

August 19th, 2012
4:23 pm

“USMC is either very ill-informed or lying.”

Both.

Soothsayer

August 19th, 2012
4:24 pm

“Yeah, I am sure Soothsayer really “chips in” a ton of money for education.”

Yeah, well, I currently chip in about $1,500.00 a year just in the education portion of county property taxes.

I have not a doubt that the county will raise millage rates to compensate for the lower tax collections if this Constitutional amendment were to pass.

And, again, there’s that central issue: The rest of will have to foot the bill for your kids to go to private Christian schools in higher taxes.

USMC

August 19th, 2012
4:26 pm

“USMC is either very ill-informed or lying. I have always supported charter schools as an option that the local school board ought to have at its disposal.”–Jay

I am not lying, but I am almost certain you have written AGAINST Charter Schools because you said they take away(money, pupils etc.) from Public Schools.

If you have not, I apologize and take back that part of what I said. :-)

Common Sense isn't very Common - Bored in Pittsburgh

August 19th, 2012
4:26 pm

ByteMe -

Powerpoint is for presentation to management wienies.

When she gets really good have her start on Visio so she can do Systems Design :-)

Halftrack

August 19th, 2012
4:28 pm

Competition makes all schools better. Recently the Regents were looking at new ways to deal with remedial courses for incoming high school graduates entering college. Georgia is low on the totem pole in SAT scores nationally as well as high school dropouts. Something ain’t working and options are needed. Get-er-done.

USMC

August 19th, 2012
4:28 pm

Poor Getalife…. angry and envious and still needs a life…. :-)