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Charter Schools – The Great Tax Dollar Ripoff…Just Another Attempt at Resegregation

A devastating report on tax dollars being spent to re-segregate schools by setting up discriminatory “Charter Schools”  in California opens with:

From less than 200 schools in 1998, the California charter school industry has grown by more than 600%, to over 1,200 schools serving nearly 600,000 children, or nearly 10% of the state’s students. One of the sources fueling this growth is an extensive network of government programs that provide public funding or tax subsidies for charter school buildings. Over the past 15 years, California charter schools have received over $2.5 billion in tax dollars or taxpayer subsidized funds to lease, build, or buy school buildings. This report finds that this funding is almost completely disconnected from educational policy objectives, and the results are, in turn, scattershot and haphazard. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent each year without any meaningful strategy. Far too much of this public funding is spent on schools built in neighborhoods that have no need for additional classroom space, and which offer no improvement over the quality of education already available in nearby public schools. In the worst cases, public facilities funding has gone to schools that were found to have discriminatory enrollment policies and others that have engaged in unethical or corrupt practices.

A copy of the report is here.

The Charter Schools of today are noting more than reinvention of tha anti-Civil Rights Academies.

Image result for Segregated Academy Schools

A Segregation Academy. Opened after the Supreme Court forced School Integration, specifically to deny entry to minority children.

Image result for Segregated Academy Schools

Image result for Segregated Academy Schools

Over the past 15 years, California charter schools have received over $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 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.

• Even the worst charter schools receive generous facility funding. The California Charter Schools Association identified 161 charter schools that ranked in the bottom 10% of schools serving comparable populations last year, but even these schools received over $200 million in tax dollars and tax-subsidized funding.

• At least 30% of charter schools were both opened in places that had no need for additional seats and also failed to provide an education superior to that available in nearby public schools. This number is almost certainly underestimated, but even at this rate, Californians provided these schools combined facilities funding of over $750 million, at a net cost to taxpayers of nearly $400 million.

• Public facilities funding has been disproportionately concentrated among the less than one-third of schools that are owned by Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) that operate chains of between three and 30 schools. An even more disproportionate share of funding has been taken by just four large CMO chains— Aspire, KIPP, Alliance, and Animo/Green Dot.

• Since 2009, the 253 schools found by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California to maintain discriminatory enrollment policies have been awarded a collective $75 million under the SB740 program, $120 million in general obligation bonds, and $150 million in conduit bond financing.

• CMOs have used public tax dollars to buy private property. The Alliance CollegeReady Public Schools network of charter schools, for instance, has benefited from over $110 million in federal and state taxpayer support for its facilities, which are not owned by the public, but are part of a growing empire of privately owned Los Angeles-area real estate now worth in excess of $200 million.

What is the connection between the Chump’s Reichminister of Education and racism?

  • Has been labeled the “four star general” of school vouchers (Source), which have repeatedly been challenged in the courts by the ACLU for undermining the separation between church and state, enabling discrimination, and lowering educational outcomes. (Source)
  • Supports the Center for Individual Rights (Source), an organization largely concerned with overturning affirmative-action legislation. (Source)
  • Contributed to the Southeastern Legal Foundation (Source), which works to overturn affirmative action and voting rights legislation. (Source)

While the report deals with California – the same thing is happening across the country. And with the racist Betsy DeVos in charge…Segregation is assured.

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Charter School Teacher Attacks Child

In Texas, Charter school teachers are not required to be certified – they are not even required to have any education above High School. Indeed, regulation of Charter schools is so loose in Texas – the only surprise is incidents like this don’t happen daily.

Worse – Janiqua Johnson and other witnesses told KHOU that four or five school employees were present in the classroom. The students claimed they felt intimidated by some teachers after the video became public. The beating took place 2 weeks ago – and the school apparently did nothing until the video became public, despite – as can be seen on the video numerous witnesses.

13 Year Old Isaiah Reagins’ family says the boy suffered a black eye and other bruises.

Sheri Lynn Davis, who was fired on Monday night as a science teacher at Jamie’s House Charter School, a centre for children with disciplinary issues in Houston, Texas, was not required to be certified, the Houston Chronicle reported. Texas law requires charter schools to hire certified teachers only in areas of bilingual and special education.

After her firing, it was learned Davis had a warrant out for her arrest since March 2009, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The D.A’s office said Davis was accused of slashing a woman’s car tires, all four of them, and she was wanted on a “criminal mischief” charge.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Charter School Teacher Beats Kid“, posted with vodpod

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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Philly Charter School Doubles as Nightclub, Possible Embezzlement Ring

Those of you familiar with Field Negro know he is based in Philly. I imagine he’ll have a few kind words on this one…

As for Club Damani at Harambee in the Philly Fun Guide

This is a link to the Philly Fun Guide

School said to double as nightclub to be investigated

School district officials will visit the Harambee Institute Charter School today to find out firsthand about allegations that the West Philadelphia school has been selling alcohol on weekends.

“We are going to seriously look at the charges and do what we have to do up to closing the school, if we have to,” Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman said yesterday.

Earlier in the day City Controller Alan Butkovitz accused Harambee of running a school by day but a nightclub after hours. The school was “found to be operating a nightclub and serving alcohol illegally” on weekends, he said. Harambee Charter is on 66th Street near Media.

But Butkovitz focused his news conference yesterday on his findings that a woman working as Harambee’s chief financial officer, Rhonda Sharif, was – at the same time – employed in a similar capacity at two other charter schools: the Math, Civics and Sciences Charter, at Broad and Spring Garden streets, and the Khepera Charter School, on Carpenter Lane, near Cresheim Street, in Mount Airy.

Butkovitz said that Sharif first worked for Harambee in 2003, at a salary of $33,046.

In 2008, Sharif made $183,108 from all three schools, and had put in for having worked 463 days, the controller said.

In addition, a construction company owned by Sharif’s husband, “Str8-Hand Construction Inc.,” received an estimated $7.5 million in maintenance contracts at the same three schools where Sharif worked.

No one answered the phone at Harambee yesterday. The school published an open letter on its Web site calling media reports a “misrepresentation” and “a very one-sided and unbalanced view of what charter schools represent. ”

Butkovitz said that he was prompted to investigate financial operations at several charter schools following the federal probe of Philadelphia Academy Charter School, in Northeast Philadelphia. The school’s founder, Brien Gardiner, committed suicide in May 2008 before his trial.

Benjamin Rayer, the district’s official in charge of charter and Renaissance schools, said last night that he will visit Harambee today. He said the school’s CEO told him that the building operated a banquet hall for weddings and birthdays. A Web site touts the facility as the Damani Banquet Hall.

“There has been a liquor license assigned to the property since 1936, to what at the time was the Overbrook Italian-American Democratic Club,” said Stacey Witalec, spokeswoman for the state Liquor Control Board. But the license, transferred to the Harambee Institute Corp. in 2002, expired Oct. 31, 2008, Witalec said.Harambee School was incorporated on Aug. 8, 1997, and received $14.7 million in public funds in 2005-2007.

Now – the Nightclub thing is an issue of propriety more than anything else, as theoretically the building is either owned by, or leased by the Charter School and not the School District. The Liquor license issue is serious, but these guys can’t be the first operators in Philly to have issues with the liquor board…

That double and triple billing, and the inside contracts though…

If true, is criminal.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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