9/20/2018 – Charter School Corruption Is Changing Education Policy And Politics

THIS WEEK: Education Election … WA Teacher Strikes End … Charter School Fail … States Shaft Teachers … Retaining Black Teachers


Charter School Corruption Is Changing Education Policy And Politics

By Jeff Bryant

“After years of credible reporting on the rampant corruption in the charter school industry, the schools are now drawing more scrutiny from state lawmakers and regulators, and political candidates are making negative stories about charters a contentious issue in the upcoming November midterm elections. Government officials from California to New York are increasingly considering, proposing, or passing new regulatory restraint on these privately operated, publicly funded schools, and in electoral contests from Arizona to Ohio, Democratic challengers are challenging Republican incumbents to defend their lax governance that has allowed charter schools to run amuck, costing the taxpayers millions and undermining the financial stability of public education.'”
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Education Is A Top Issue In The Midterms


“All across America, public anger over education funding has scrambled the political map for November. The activism that started with this spring’s sudden wave of teacher strikes and walkouts didn’t ebb when the picket lines did. It got channeled into political action. The outcry has created competitive races–and spurred primary upsets – in some unexpected places. And with scores of teachers now running for office themselves, it’s changed the face of the midterm elections … It’s the GOP that has the most to fear from voters motivated by education. The most politically energized demographic in the Trump era is college-educated suburban women–precisely the voters who tend to care the most about public education.”
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After Weeks Of Teacher Strikes, Wash. State Students Are Back In School

Education Week

“In 14 school districts across the state of Washington, teachers went on strike this fall over contract disputes stemming from an influx of cash districts had received from the state. The state had awarded $2 billion to districts to go toward teacher salary increases, a result of a 2012 ruling from the state supreme court that … required to fully fund teacher salary increases by this year … Teachers across the state negotiated new contracts with their districts, and in many cases, received double-digit pay increases … Meanwhile, teachers in Los Angeles are preparing for a strike that could come next month.”
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Report Shines Light On Charter School Operations

The Florida Times Union

“A government watchdog group called Florida’s growing system of privately-run public charter schools wasteful and said it sometimes gives rise to self-dealing and profiteering. Integrity Florida, a group which seeks to uncover public corruption, recommended more widespread disclosure of charter school finances, especially greater oversight of ways tax dollars end up in private companies’ profits. The study also showed how some of Florida’s elected officials are influenced by the money in charter school development and operation … State legislators have whittled down school district’s oversight of charter schools … Since its start in 1998, the charter school industry has spent more than $13 million to influence state education policy in Florida through contributions to political campaigns.”
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15 States Have Set Aside Nothing To Pay For Retired Teachers’ Health Care, Study Says

Education Week

“Most teachers receive health care benefits after they retire … But 15 states have set aside nothing to pay for their obligations … including Florida, New Jersey, and New York … Other states have funded tiny amounts … Overall, there is no money set aside to cover 93% of the anticipated costs for all retirees’ health care. To address this problem, states and school districts have begun restricting eligibility to long-term employees, meaning that fewer workers will qualify for health care benefits once they reach retirement years.”
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Schools Have Committed To Hiring Teachers of Color. Now They Need To Keep Them

The Progressive

“Numerous recent research studies bear out the importance of having teachers of color in classrooms. Low-income black students who have at least one black teacher in elementary school are significantly more likely to graduate high school, for example … Numerous school systems have pledged to hire more teachers of color … But any district that recruits teachers of color must also commit to work to keep them. And that’s where they often fail. Teachers of color are far more apt to leave the profession than their white counterparts … Retaining teachers of color requires a level of engagement that challenges the broader mission and culture of a school district … Many teachers of color are committed to working with students to critically examine social inequities and their impacts on school and life. But a school district that does not value that intrinsic mission will have a hard time supporting and retaining those teachers..”
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