| Public Core
Public Core is an organization of West Contra Costa County parents, teachers, community members, and school staff who fight for public control and accountability in our schools. We believe that public schools, open to all, are essential to the health of a democratic society. Our goal is high quality, inclusive public education for all students. We believe that the proliferation of privately-operated schools using public money will increase inequalities in education and in our society. We are dedicated to informing the public about the impact of publicly-funded, privately operated schools on our community.
|PublicCore.net - Working to maintain public control and accountability for public schools in WCCUSD since 2014. Not affiliated with the deceptive PublicCore.org website started in 2016 to confuse and distract.|
Charters and the Law
Articles which address some of the legal issues involving charter schools
Karina Ioffe: Richmond Considering Regulations of Charter Schools
Evan Sternoffsky: State Report Finds Resource Disparity in a Marin School District
Mark Prado: State: Sausalito-Marin City [School] Board Hurts Minorities with Focus on Charter School
Marin Independent Journal, August 11, 2016
"In a highly critical report, a state education task force concluded the Sausalito Marin City School District board favors the district’s charter school in Sausalito to the detriment of minority children who attend a traditional campus in Marin City. The report also suggests that the way board members are elected could be challenged legally, because it denies minorities equal access to representation, and that the district could be liable for civil rights violations."
Victoria Kezra: Trial between the City of Sunnyvale and Summit Charter School over Zoning Rules Comes to a Close
Steve Rosenfeld: California Board of Ed Tramples on Local Control, Pushes Charter School on Poor Community that Doesn't Want It
Maureen Magee: Satellite Charter Schools Under Fire
San Diego Tribune, October 22, 2016"California’s booming satellite charter school industry that has persevered through lawsuits, scandals and turf wars suffered a blow this past week when a state appellate court ruled hundreds of the campuses are illegally operating outside their districts." San Diego Unified said that it was “fully prepared and has sufficient capacity to absorb those students currently attending these charter schools, with fully robust, higher quality independent study and online learning programs as well as traditional and blended programs. Our graduation rate far exceeds that of many of these and our district provides integrated support not available from these charters.”
Valerie Strauss: Why California’s Charter School Sector is Called ‘the Wild West’
Washington Post, September 28, 2016
The second of four articles on charter schools in California, which has more charters and more students in charters than any other state. Among the problems, it discusses: the ACLU's finding that the enrollment policies of over 20% of California charter schools violate state and federal law; charter schools opening without the permission of the school district in which they reside; over $310 million in state funding given to the largest for-profit charter operator in the country, which has “a dismal record of academic achievement;" egregious instances of misappropriation of funds. "What these reveal is a state charter law that allows the schools to operate loosely, with little if any accountability or transparency to the public."
Howard Blume: Retiree Benefits Become a Flashpoint in the Battle between Charters and Traditional Schools
Robert D. Skeels: California Charter School Industry Bill Attempts to Eliminate Only Source of Public Oversight
California School Boards Association: New Legislation would Greatly Expand State Board's Authority on Charter Schools
Jack Casey: NFMA Calls for Detailed Charter School Disclosures
In a Recommended Best Practices document, the National Federation of Municipal Analysts is urging charter schools to provide detailed financial, academic, and staffing information in primary and secondary disclosure documents. Article details recommended disclosures. "'The NFMA believes that charter school continuing disclosure needs to be far more complete, robust, and timely to reflect credit characteristics and risks specific to the sector," the group said."
Andy Grimm: Chicago Public Schools Adds Community Input to School Closing, Consolidation Process
Chicago Sun Times, October 1, 2016
Chicago Public Schools, which is headed by a Chief Executive Officer and an unelected school board appointed by the mayor, has developed new, more democratic requirements for consolidating schools and changing attendance boundaries, and spelled out how it will shut down charters that fail to meet benchmarks for student achievement or financial management. The changes come in a climate of backlash against Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting. The Illinois House this spring passed a bill that would create an elected, 21-member board to oversee CPS, replacing the smaller group appointed by the mayor.
Jeff Bryant: Elizabeth Warren Clarifies the Charter School Debate
Common Dreams, September 29, 2016
The author of this opinion piece discusses Warren's stance against a Massachusetts proposition that would raise the cap on charters in the state, in light of the charter school movement, which has proven to be, he asserts, a drain on local schools, an exclusionary approach to schooling, a favored cause of big money, and at odds with progressive causes.
Mark Dent: Why John Oliver May Help Change Pennsylvania’s ‘worst charter school laws in the nation’
BillyPenn.com, August 26, 2016For the last several months, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has "railed against" Pennsylvania’s charter laws. After coming out with an audit of Philadelphia’s charter situation earlier this year , he has continued to stress the need for reform. He recently gave a press conference about a faulty payment appeals process that overly benefits charters at the expense of school districts. He’s continually tried to bring awareness, but it seemed no one was listening--until he was featured on John Oliver's HBO show, "Last Week Tonight." (see Oliver's segment on charters here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_htSPGAY7I)
Article details Pasquale's issues with charter schools. “There’s something going on out there that needs to be looked at.”
Andy Metzger: Massachusetts Democrats Vote to Oppose Charter School Question
Edify, State House News Service, August 17, 2016
On August 16, the Massachusetts Democratic Party voted to oppose a ballot question that would expand charter schools in Massachusetts, stating, "Already, cities and towns forced to make budget cuts every year due to the state’s underfunding of education and the money lost to charters. If this ballot question passes, it will create budget crises in hundreds of Massachusetts communities, and hurt the students who remain in our local district public schools." The move pits them against the pro-charter "Democrats for Education Reform."
Kate Taylor: Letter to Cuomo Reveals State Senate's Plan to Help Success Academy
New York Times, August 11, 2016
"What the Success Academy charter school network could not get through the courts or from the New York State Education Department, it may get from the governor: the ability to run prekindergarten programs without oversight from New York City." When the city demanded that Eva Moskowitz, CEO of the Success Academy charter chain, sign a contract for her prekindergarten program, she refused, saying it gave the city too much control, and sought redress from the state education commissioner, then the State Supreme Court. When both ruled the city could demand that Success sign the contract in order to be paid, she appealed to state senate Republicans, who have received substantial support from wealthy charter school supporters. They wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo asking that Success Academies be exempted from certain rules; in particular, that their teachers be "given time" to become certified and that the program be given space in public school buildings.
Kate Zernike: New Orleans Plan: Charter Schools, with a Return to Local Control
Benjamin Wood: Utah Charter Schools Move Millions of Public Dollars to the Coffers of a Few Private Companies