Florida charter schools behaving badly

There are two stories about Florida charter schools
behaving badly this week and I know what you are thinking. It’s been a slow
week.
The first involves charter schools in Pinellas
County counseling out poor performers.
A public charter school can’t pick and choose which
students it wants to keep, Dot Clark (Pinellas County charter school coordinator)
said. “Cherry picking” students would allow a school to boost its
test scores, attendance rates and other performance measures. “We’re
asking: Are you doing that? And if so, what’s the justification? And it needs
to stop.” http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/pinellas-investigating-complaints-about-new-charter-school/2140237
The second is about Hillsborough County charter
schools charging parents fees.

“There are things called
enhancement fees,” Attorney Tom Gonzalez said. “And there is a
question that is not always clear of the line between when an enhancement fee
becomes tuition, and when it is mandatory as opposed to not, when it’s billed
as opposed to solicited.”

The line can seem hazy, he said, “especially since it seems that an
awful lot of charters are pushing up against that line as hard as they can and
are, in fact, seeking those funds from a variety of sources through an awful
lot of coercion.” http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/hillsborough-officials-say-charter-schools-walk-fine-line-between-fees-and/2139421

How are charter schools public schools again? The answer is they are not but
saying so gives the privatization crowd some cover. What they are is publicly funded
private schools designed not to enhance education outcomes but to make a buck.

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