SHOULD CHARTER SCHOOLS BE ALLOWED TO KEEP HOW THEY SPEND TAXPAYER MONEY SECRET?
POLITICAL EDITORIAL COMMENTARY
By: John R. Liming
Editor and Author
The Liming Liberal Digest (BLOG)
I am not a political expert. I am just an elder taxpayer who has worked, achieved my part of The American Dream and am now happily retired, writing on this blog so that I might be of some use to someone else in some small fashion.
So when it comes to talking about things like “Charter Schools” and “Charter Universities” and all that kind of stuff, I can only go with what I read, what I hear and my gut instincts.
By the way, Michigan and Ohio and Wisconsin…how are things working out for you there since your elections where “The People Spoke” to make some changes that led to a more Conservative Government for you?
Are you and your teachers and your policemen and your firemen and your paramedics and your other public servants satisfied with the way things have been going?
Are you better off now than you were with the Democrats that you replaced in that fateful election?
I am hearing tales that what you were told and promised might not be exactly what you are getting. Is there any truth to that or am I just hearing these things?
Of course, being a “Godless” Liberal and more or less opposed to everything that the extreme Right Wing might say, propose or do, I feel a need to express myself here in these pages, so I might be at odds with some people on issues.
There are, apparently, some state governments out there who are now trying to convince their citizens that “Charter” schools and universities are the way to go.
The big sell seems to be on in some states to move away from traditional large tax-payer supported institutions of higher learning and kind of “Privatize” these schools.
There are all kinds of reasons being given, but the one I am hearing most is the one about “Charter” schools being able to do a better job of teaching for less cost to the taxpayer.
Well, I have read arguments refuting that claim. In fact, I just recently published a post on this blog that explains how “Charter” schools often cost as much as twice as much as traditional schools receiving taxpayer funds.
I mean, since “Charter” Schools are more like Private Businesses, there is every possibility that somebody is making a hunk of change running and administering these things, right?
And, if, as some reports say, the classes in charter schools tend to be larger (Pack more students into each class and the profit margin of that class increases) and the tuition costs are a lot more than at regular traditional schools, my question becomes, “How does that save anyone any money?”
Anyways, now there is a question arising in some areas about whether these “Charter” schools should be required to divulge how much of the taxpayer portion of their income is actually spent on educating their students and how much of it is going into the bottom line of the corporation running the charter schools.
Is there any reasonable reason why the owner of a corporation administering charter schools in an area might want some state legislature to pass some kind of measure to reduce oversight of his operations?
There might be if that owner had contributed millions of dollars to some political party over the years and would dearly love to see less “Government Interference” into the affairs of his “Private” Business.
Of course we all know that this sort of thing never goes on in America, don’t we?
Why who in their right mind would even conceive of such a thing?
If you tend to be a Liberal or a Democrat like me, then I guess you are interested in knowing how your tax dollars are being used.
If you tend to be Conservative or Republican or Right Wing, then I guess you might feel that it is nobody’s business how private business spends their money regardless of where it comes from.
In fact, Conservatives may even feel that any attempt to “Force” private operators of Charter Schools to disclose their financial details would be “Undue Interference By Big Government” or some kind of violation of a Business’s “Rights.”
Why would any upstanding Business want to conceal how it spends public funds?
Is it possible that such a Business owner could actually successfully lobby the government of a state to get what he or she wants in the way of some law to allow the keeping of the secret of how public funds flowing into their enterprises are spent?
On the other hand, is there any reason that the taxpaying public should be told how their money is being spent by Charter Schools and Universities?
There is some stuff like this going on in Ohio as one example according to some newspapers that I have been reading.
Some news sources in Ohio are saying that some people are asking questions about how operators of Charter Schools are spending taxpayer funds and that the operators of the schools are kind of resisting answering those questions and that some of them have even been pushing legislation favorable to keeping their secret.
I guess if you wanted to get a clearer picture of all this, you would probably want to get on the Internet or buy a few newspapers from Ohio or something.
You may even wonder whether the question is worth considering or not because maybe nothing like that is even remotely affecting you where you live. But then, again, there might be something similar going on in your area and you might want to look into it for your own satisfaction.
I wonder if questions like this are being raised in other areas where there are Charter Schools?
I wonder if questions like this should even be raised?
Readers of my blog are going to be interested in why I am so vague and why I do not mention names when I write about these things.
Well, it’s simple! I don’t want to be accused of libel or slander. So, I will leave discovering any names that might be involved or mentioned in other resources up to the Reader.
My intent here is just to bring the situations to the attention of any Readers who might be interested in case they might be affected in similar ways either now or at some time in the future.