by Scott Creighton
School didn’t have computers, a library or even cafeteria services and the money the for-profit school saved by cheating 181 kids out of a decent education, they apparently divided up among themselves when the gig was finally up in Orlando. Christ, according to their recent evaluation, they couldn’t even teach English!
When you think about charter schools, you think about someone trying to sell the “public/private partnership” in terms of saving taxpayers some money. It’s simply not true. It costs more per student to educate through a charter school system and most studies show the education they receive is rather substandard at best. No accountability, no morals.. the WalMartization of Education is at hand.
The following recent news story is a prime example of both the failure of the privatized school systems educational model as well as the abject greed that lurks behind the motivation to hand over our nation’s kids to the for-profit model. There are many, many other examples… this is just the newest one:
A Florida state senator is calling for an investigation into the payout of more than $500,000 to the principal of a failed Orange County charter school…
… Kelly Young, principal of NorthStar High School in Orlando, received a check for $519,453.96 in June, about the same time the Orange County School Board accepted the school’s plan to close in lieu of being forced to shut down based on declining student achievement, The Orlando Sentinel reported.
Young’s payment was authorized by the charter school’s independent board, which is separate from the Orange County School Board, in June. At the time, the independent board called it “well-deserved and earned for her years of dedicated service at a below-market rate of compensation,” the Sentinel reported.
… Orange County School District officials say they were unaware of the principal’s payment because the school isn’t required to report it under Florida’s charter school law, according to the Sentinel.” NBC News
At a time when Florida is closing schools and cutting back on anything they call “frivolous” for the students like books, computers and teachers, the unelected, unaccountable board called an “independent board” decided to hand over the massive check as a kind of bonus to the principal for all her “good work” in the past at “below market value” compensation.
Her efforts at running the school must have failed pretty miserably because in Florida, the campaign to privatize the school system will grant principles a wide path for failure. There’s a lot of money to be made and the bad press that would be generated by such a public default would be enthusiastically avoided.
But failed Principal Young did and her reward for that sub-par achievement is half a million bucks over and above her pay which is remarkable to say the least.
In the Orlando Sentinel article they explain that she is still drawing her pay of $8,700 “bi-monthly” which I had to look up to clarify if that means it was two checks per month or a check every two months…. turns out it can be used as either and if one wishes to be clear, they recommend one explains it the way I just did. I suppose the Sentinel doesn’t wish to make it clear which of the two it is and the difference, as you can figure yourself, is huge.
The school, which earned two “D” grades, one “F” and one “B” from that state between 2006 and 2010, was never an academic standout, but served as a haven for a group of students who felt they didn’t fit anywhere else.
Students at the school, which was based in a group of concrete portables on Curry Ford Road, had no access to computers, a library or cafeteria service. An evaluation of the school this past spring found that it lacked appropriate materials to teach struggling readers or English language-learners. Orlando Sentinel
What happened in this case is the for-profit school ended it’s school year with a surplus of cash meaning they didn’t even spend the money on the kids that they were supposed to, like for computers, a library or even cafeteria services. So, according to the law, that money was supposed to go back to the Orlando school system. So to keep from having to give it back to the people, the “independent board” gave most of it to Principal Young as a bonus for failing her school.
Leftover money from a charter school that shuts down, minus grant and capital dollars, are supposed to go back to school districts upon closure.
NorthStar, which had a balance of $717,293 at the end of the 2011 school year, has not turned over any money to Orange County Public Schools.
A statement provided to the district by the charter school showed a balance of less than $10,000 on June 29. Orlando Sentinel
What they did was simply figure a way to clean out the coffers of the school on the way out the door. They basically stole all the furniture as they were leaving the White House.
Missing from this pathetic and illuminating display of Charter School Greed is the fact that 180 kids suffered under this school’s abject failure, something those children will pay the price for over the course of the rest of their lives.
Their school is gone and now they will have to be shuffled off to yet another for-profit education enterprise like so many hogs being shipped to a different processing plant.
I hope this story gets national attention, but it won’t. It clearly shows not just the failures of the charter for-profit education model and the inherent unaccountability written into the process by law… but it shows the real motivation behind such a morally vacant system which hides behind “the children” carelessly stuffing their pockets while cheating your kids of their future.
Filed under: Charter School Scam, class warfare, Economic Crisis ie. Disaster Capitalism, economic terrorism, Neoliberalizing America, Privatizing Public Education, Public Private Partnership, Scott Creighton, War on Public Education, war on the middle class Tagged: | Charter School Scam