Friday, December 9, 2016

Jeff Bryant’s “Tar Heel Heist” Traces Disaster of Charter School Growth in North Carolina | janresseger

Jeff Bryant’s “Tar Heel Heist” Traces Disaster of Charter School Growth in North Carolina | janresseger:

Jeff Bryant’s “Tar Heel Heist” Traces Disaster of Charter School Growth in North Carolina


Everyone should read Jeff Bryant’s report for Alternet from North Carolina on the impact of rapid charter school growth on the public schools in a state that spends less on education than it did prior to the 2008 recession. “What’s unclear is how a state hell-bent on financial austerity can afford to create what is essentially a new parallel school system of taxpayer supported charter schools.”
Residents of Massachusetts, which just rejected a bid to lift the cap on the authorization of new charter schools, should feel very smug. By contrast, Bryant tells us what happened back in 2011 after North Carolina eliminated its charter school growth cap: “In 2011, North Carolina state lawmakers lifted the cap on the number of charters allowed to operate in the state, which had been limited to 100—a move not only backed by Republicans but also encouraged by the Obama administration’s requirement for Race to the Top grant money, which the state won. In the first three years, 53 new charters opened their doors in the state, raising the charter school population in the state by 65 percent.”
To make matters more complicated, the state’s population—including the number of school children—is rapidly growing.  North Carolina’s public schools now serve serve 76,000 more students than they did back in 2008.  Wake County school board member Christine Kushner tells Bryant that, “Responding to growth is at the top of the list. ‘Wake County adds nearly a kindergarten class every day,’ she estimates.'”
Charter schools in North Carolina pose many of the same challenges to the public schools as they have been shown to do in other states: “Much of the fervor for charters in Jeff Bryant’s “Tar Heel Heist” Traces Disaster of Charter School Growth in North Carolina | janresseger:





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