A non-partisan report produced on California charter schools
could be a template for many other states, including Arkansas
, with the difference only in numbers. From Dianne Ravitch's excerpt:
Over the past 15 years, California charter schools have received more than $2.5 billion in tax dollars or taxpayer subsidized funds to lease, build, or buy school buildings.
Nearly 450 charter schools have opened in places that already had enough classroom space for all students—and this overproduction of schools was made possible by generous public support, including $111 million in rent, lease, or mortgage payments picked up by taxpayers, $135 million in general obligation bonds, and $425 million in private investments subsidized with tax credits or tax exemptions.
For three-quarters of California charter schools, the quality of education on offer—based on state and charter industry standards—is worse than that of a nearby traditional public school that serves a demographically similar population. Taxpayers have provided these schools with an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars in direct funding and an additional $1.1 billion in taxpayer-subsidized financing.
I supplied emphasis for a portion that applies, and soon will apply even more, in Little Rock. The Little Rock School District
is closing campuses of succeeding schools to balance the budget while its alleged school board in state takeover, Education Commissioner Johnny Key,
has an insatiable desire to create still more charter school seats in Little Rock
and hasn't put his foot down on failing charter schools here. Something is wrong with this picture. He and the governor have, however, put their feet down against return of the Little Rock School District to democratic control.
That California report goes on and on. Schools have discriminatory policies. They are run by private organizations that buy private poperty and create real estate empires. Chains get most of the benefit, such as KIPP, which operates in Arkansas. Here's the full report.