Charter Schools are a three shell Monte game. No pea. In the last two weeks we have received 6 ESE (Exceptional Student Education – kids with issues) students back from the local Charter schools. These students leave the Charter schools for numerous reasons but many times because of behavioral issues. The Charter schools have already cashed the State of Florida funding check (your tax dollars) and now the neighborhood public school has no money for this student, stretching resources even thinner. And make no mistake, ESE students chew up resources.
They arrive back with no IEP (Individual Education Plan ) a legally required document by the State of Florida. The average IEP takes about three to four hours to complete (my school has 150 ESE Students out of a total school population of 700) not including numerous bureaucratic hoops and hurdles to be jumped through. This document is not required of Charter schools.
By returning at mid year without this completed document and no State monies it puts Public Schools wayyyy behind the 8 ball. The teachers at your local public school are responsible for these students FCAT testing in which their scores have a direct effect on salary and evaluations.
Class sizes are also stretched because these students are “inclusioned” into regular classrooms leaving aside their behavioral problems. Ask any teacher how the social and educational chemistry of a class can be affected by two or three ESE students with behavioral problems being dropped into a classroom midway through a school year. It’s not pretty. Pity the poor fools for public school teachers because in the end, it’s all their fault. And the ultimate losers? In the immediate instance the students and tax payers of Duval County, but in a longer unfashionable view the citizens of Florida and the United States.