Who Likes Charter Schools?

Liberals tend to oppose charter schools. Liberals also tend to claim they care about minorities. But check out this video about New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to block charter schools, and take a close look at the faces of the people protesting his decision.

See also this article about affordable housing in Portland, Oregon (via Will Truman at Ordinary Times).

Liberals “care” about better education and affordable housing, but they’re so hung up on weighting them down with other goals that they founder and drown. And in each case they ignore the real cause and proffer the same “solution,” more money. But as both these stories show, doing things differently is a better solution than just giving more money to keep doing things the same way.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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4 Responses to Who Likes Charter Schools?

  1. Matty says:

    It’s not something I know much about but I can think of two objections to such schools that have some force. One is that they increase the demands on limited resources resulting in other schools getting worse, assuming of course that the charter school doesn’t take everybody. The other issue is that by being outside the normal controls they become a sneaky way to spend taxpayers money on things it would normally be withheld from like extremist religious indoctrination. Not that this appears to be the case in the video but I can see someone having that worry about the general concept.

  2. J@m3z Aitch says:

    In most cases charter schools receive less than the full per-student funding the state gives, so the schools left behind end up with a little bit more on a per-student basis. That could still create problems with their costs that aren’t affected much by the number of students (a classroom of 25 costs about as much to heat as a classroom of 20, for example, and uses the same amount of electricity), but in general I haven’t noticed evidence that diminished funding is a major problem.

    The other concern doesn’t bother me too much. You can get federal financial aid to go to Oral Roberts University. Either the Supreme Court will draw a line where we cross into religious establishment or we’ll be shifting our paradigm from focusing our public support from education on a specific set of schools to public funding of students, and I don’t have a big problem with that.

  3. pierrecorneille says:

    I was set to get all huffy about “the libel against liberals,” but I actually watched the report and realized that in my mind for some reason I had confused charter schools with voucher programs. I have a lot of reservations about vouchers, but on charter schools, I suppose it’s a matter of how they operate. Not that I know, but I’ve *heard* (from people who might not know much more than I) that charter schools in Chicago operate very poorly on the whole. Other than this report, I haven’t heard anything about NYC schools.

    And if the schools mentioned in the report are as good as their advocates say, and if De Blasio is really closing them only or primarily to settle political scores and to satisfy the teacher’s union, then the closures are really a bad thing.

    In Chicago, the Democracy under Rahm seems to be using charter schools as a way to get around the union. At least, that’s the allegation. And while I suspect that the union or at least its contract terms is part of the problem, I’m wary of what Rahm is actually doing (he recently closed 40+ public schools in very poor neighborhoods which on the surface at least seems a bad thing to do, although I don’t know the in’s and out’s). As far as Chicago is concerned, I’m inclined to say a “pox on both thy houses” and be glad that for me the issue is mostly theoretical because I don’t have children.

  4. trumwill says:

    That could still create problems with their costs that aren’t affected much by the number of students (a classroom of 25 costs about as much to heat as a classroom of 20, for example, and uses the same amount of electricity),

    One way to mitigate some of the overhead costs is to lease out school space to charter schools. Which is, come to think of it, exactly what is being prevented here.

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