Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Charters and Open Books

CURMUDGUCATION: Charters and Open Books:

Charters and Open Books

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My school district's board of directors held their regular meeting two days ago and passed a tentative budget for the coming year. I could link you to the newspaper report of the meeting, but it's behind a paywall. So let me just copy out the two important paragraphs:

Now that the tentative budget has been approved, members of the general public have an opportunity to review and/or comment on the spending plan until June 26, which is the day the board is slated to vote on the budget.

Anyone who would like to see a copy of the budget can access one either at the school district's administrative building or online at www.fasd.K12.pa.us.

Just to be clear. For a month, any citizen in the area can look at the proposed budget. They could then attend a board meeting or call a board member or stop a board member when they encounter them out and about in the community, and that citizen could express an opinion about the budget. Any citizen, parent, voter or taxpayer can both see the budget and offer feedback on it. That's a thing that can happen here in our public school district.



This is different from the charter school business world, where budgets are proposed and passed in private and where the people who create those budgets may not even live anywhere nearby at all. It's different from the charter business world, where some charter operators fight hard, all the way to court, to keep their budgets secret, and where state regulations do not require the charter operators to reveal anything at all.

This is just one of the reasons that charter schools are not public schools. Funneling tax dollars to 
CURMUDGUCATION: Charters and Open Books:

DeVos Still Anti-Accountability

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As she's spent time in the public eye this week, Betsy DeVos may have enraged, but she hasn't surprised. She continues to be what we always thought she was-- and that includes her attitude about accountability.

She's against it.

Here's a critical CNN clip from today's hearings:  http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2017/05/devos-still-anti-accountability.html


If a school wants to use federal money to discriminate on the basis of race or religion or sexual preference or gender orientation, DeVos thinks that's between the parents and the state. She literally refuses to imagine a scenario in which the federal government would hold a school accountable for the way it used federal dollars. The issue is perfectly captured in this exchange. DeVos is dodging a question about whether or not she would allow federal dollars to go to a school that was discriminating against African-American students:

DeVos: But when it comes to parents making choices on behalf of--

Clark: This isn't-- this isn't about parents making choices. This is about use of federal dollars.

At another point in the day, similarly pressed on whether or not she would require voucher schools 


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DeVos Still Anti-Accountability

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