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Saturday, April 3, 2021

CURMUDGUCATION: Charters Circumventing Democracy

CURMUDGUCATION: Charters Circumventing Democracy
Charters Circumventing Democracy

In some states, charter schools have faced a particularly intractable obstacle--local elected school boards.

That's because in some states, a charter cannot open without the authorization of the local elected school board. This means the local board is deciding if they would like to have the taxpayers foot the bill for opening a new school in the district, which is generally a tough sell. 

Charter advocates have found a few ways around this. One is to throw weight and money behind candidates in local school board elections with the idea that once elected, these individuals will say, "Never mind the taxpayers or the public schools--I want to see more charters open here." The downside for this approach is that there's always another election coming.

More popular, or at least more effective for charter proponents, is to get the law changed. Right now, Florida, Iowa, and Texas are all looking at ways to get that whole pesky democracy thing out f the way of charter school entrepreneurism.

In Florida, the legislature would like to expand the power of universities, so that they can authorize charter schools on their own, with or without the agreement of the local school district. Texas has taken another route by making the State Commissioner of Education the super-powered uber-authorizer of charter schools; only a super-majority of the State Board of Education could overrule CONTINUE READING: CURMUDGUCATION: Charters Circumventing Democracy