Sunday, November 15, 2015

Charter Schools

I left this comment on an education blog and thought I would share it here as well:

Charters aren't going away. But they need reform.

One: Any charter that is not under local control by a board constituted of parents and Duval County citizens should have its charter revoked. No law or change of law is needed for this one; only an enforcement of existing law.

Two: The state of Florida should annually audit the financial records of every charter school that operates in the state. Findings should include prescriptions of corrective action required or the charter is revoked in one year. Findings of fraud, gross waste, or mismanagement should result in immediate suspension of the charter and prosecution if evidence of criminal activity is found.

Three: Local school boards should be empowered to have the final say over charters. No one can open a hospital unless the state determines there is a need. School Boards should have the same authority to say no to charters if there is no need for the charter.

Four: Charters enter into a one-year contract with parents. Charters are not allowed to expel students (known as 'counseling out.')

Five: Charters must provide all services that a public school requires, including ESE and ESOL. The day is done when charters were going to be laboratories of experiment and innovation. Charter School USA, to name only one national chain but I mean all of them, has the resources to provide resources.

Six: Charter school teachers must be certified.

Seven: Charter schools must receive accreditation by a recognized agency within three years of opening or they lose their charter.

If I ever run for the legislature, this would be part of my platform.