Thursday, November 17, 2011

Taxpayers pay for millionaires' kids to attend corporate schools

Here's charming news from Bloomberg: So-called "charter" schools are doing a better job educating rich kids than the poor kids they were sold to us as helping. Worse, these schools are run by profit-making corporations. In other words, your tax dollars may be siphoned off to pay for (a) corporate profit and (b) giving rich kids even greater advantages in life than the poor kids they leave behind in community-based schools.

Bloomberg reports,
The growing ranks of U.S. charter schools in affluent suburbs are pitting neighbor against neighbor and, critics say, undercutting the original goals of the charter movement. Families who benefit cherish extensive academic offerings and small classes. Those who don’t say their children are being shortchanged because the schools are siphoning off money and the strongest students, leaving school districts with higher expenses and fewer resources for poor, immigrant and special- needs kids...

One out of five of the country’s 5,200 charter schools is in a suburb, including affluent communities like Los Altos, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In Minnesota, where the charter school movement began in 1992, charters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region initially focused on black, urban neighborhoods and have since spread into wealthy suburbs, where schools are often predominantly white, according to research from the University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Race and Poverty.
A quarter of U.S. charter schools don’t participate in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, compared with 2 percent at conventional public schools, according to a 2010 study by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles...
That means they aren’t serving a significant low-income population, Erica Frankenberg, co-author of the report and an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University, said in an interview.
Just one question: Isn't the purpose of public education to give every kid a chance for a good life?