The operator of the Little Rock Urban Collegiate Public Charter School for Young Men has always been hard for the Arkansas Times to reach, probably because we've been somewhat more skeptical of the representations and prospects of the operation than others, including state school officials who approved the project last year. We reported yesterday the Education Department's move to potentially jerk the charter because of fiscal problems.
Don't know if you saw the Democrat-Gazette account on the fiasco this morning. Their reporter reached the school boss, who said her problems stem from being unable to make budget adjustments to account for the fact that the school enrolled 300 fewer students than expected.
This is where the non-objective journalistic model can insert in the story — IS SHE STUPID OR DISHONEST OR WHAT?
The school is drawing taxpayer money at a rate of about $6,000 a year for 300 phantom students — which should mean an additional $1.8 million over the course of the school year. Unless it is staffing up for these phantom students, which layoffs would indicate it is not, the problem isn't too little money, but too much money, poorly managed.
The article included, too, the leader's sad account of students who didn't want to learn and parents who weren't interested in meeting the standards demanded by the school. The school operator says things are better now that many of these students have been run off. Back to conventional public schools. Which will be held up as failures by the Billionaire Boys Club and their Charter School Chowder and Marching Society because the evil union teachers in conventional public schools can't work miracles with these same hard cases. The conventional public schools, you see, don't have the option of "out-counseling" such students. Give just about anybody a school where all parents are committed to seeing homework done, meeting with teachers, volunteering at the school, agreeing to extended hours and days of schooling and chances of success should leap exponentially.