Charters: The other side
November 01, 2012 12:00 AM | 823 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

I was disappointed when I read the editorial in Sunday’s Cherokee Tribune. I have come to expect lies and half truths from those on the left that vehemently oppose the public charter school amendment, but I did not expect half truths in the Tribune.

What half truths? First, never once referring to these public charter schools, as public charter schools, perpetuating the myth that they are private schools.

Second, stating more public schools met no child standards than public charter schools. I would hope so; the public schools out-number them by 10 or 20 to 1.

Third, stating state public charter schools would cost the taxpayer $1 million a year. While omitting that the state’s budget last year was around $18 billion, of which around 60 percent goes to education. That means $10 billion went to the public schools.

Fourth, the class warfare, left-wing argument, that public charter schools would be run by, heaven help us, “for profit” companies. Neglecting to state that school systems give taxpayer money to “for profit” companies all the time. As in Apple computers they buy and construction companies that build the school buildings.

Fifth, it omitted the most important argument for public charter schools, the tremendous input of parents in those schools.

Sixth, that public charter schools would “siphon the most desirable students away”

First, it is first-come first-served. Public charter schools must take every student that applies, regardless of their grades. And second, what does that say about the public schools, when the Tribune believes only the smartest students would leave them? That only the dumbest would want to stay?

Regarding the comment that public charter schools siphons money from public schools. Not really, as an example, opponents claim a public charter school would take money away from the public school system. A charter school is a public school, serving children in Cherokee. It’s just a slightly different one run by a board made up of community leaders and parents.

Second, the school system only loses the state money that follows the child. Right now, on average, the cost per student in Cherokee County is around $8,800. Of that, $4,200 is state money, the other $4,600 is collected locally and stays with “the system”

Therefore, if a class has 22 students and two leave to go to a public charter school, “the system” keeps the $4,600 collected locally for each student that left, and has an extra $9,200 to spend on the 20 remaining students. As a result of the two students leaving, “the system“ now has smaller class size and more money per student. How is that losing money?

This is no different than a spouse collecting child support. Yes, they lose some of their alimony (the child support money) when the child becomes an adult, but they no longer have the child to support.

Conrad Quagliaroli
Woodstock
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Whole Truth
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November 01, 2012
First, if you are a public school, act like one. Boards should follow open meeting laws. Employee salaries should be on the Open Georgia website. What is John Hage's salary?

Second, on a percentage/ratio basis (not just a numerical basis), the public schools outperformed the charter schools. The report is on the Dept of Ed website.

Third, 60 percent does NOT go to k-12 education. Only 38 percent. Chip Rogers uses 60 percent, which includes HOPE, Pre-K and the entire college and university system.

Fourth, the examples you cite buy assets (that have value and could then be sold if needed). What does a management fee buy?

Fifth, charter school parents don't even get to elect their own board members.

Sixth, self-selection IS cherry picking. Not providing transportatin IS cherry picking. Not providing registration materials or advertisements in Spanish IS cherry picking.

Cherokee Charter has half the low income kids of the district and NO ESOL kids.

Local taxes to support Cherokee schools have dropped $30 million in the last five years. There is no windfall in local taxes, only less every year.
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