comments

Quote beyond establishment

Reader Input
-A +A
Your editorial on charter schools (?Charter school trend doesn?t add up,? Our View, April 1) asks why we need them if all we have to do is enrich conventional schools. If the problem were that simple, we would not have enacted the charter school law in the first place. Thanks to that legislation, conventional schools are feeling the heat of competition for enrollment. And competition was one of the objectives of the law. Now, as you point out, schools like E.V. Cain scramble for charter status, to enrich their program and appear more attractive. But a program conceived as a charter from inception is not interested in enriching the budget but in offering a genuinely unique, dynamic, alternative choice. The fact is that conventional schools have been slow to implement innovative changes even when proven effective. Why do you suggest we take funds earmarked for creative charter schools and hand it right back to the schools that aren?t meeting expectations? This is not to say charter schools are the magical answer to fixing the system. There are numerous reasons why they fail, as well. Your editorial also implies that charter schools somehow manage to get significantly more funding than their counterparts. The fact is that they often exercise more freedom and creativity in how they prioritize their budgets, thus producing efficiencies difficult to achieve in the mainstream system. I challenge the Journal and its readers to shed some truly informative light on this subject by investigating and sharing real reasons why programs, both conventional and alternative, seek charter status. Your editorial quoted opinions from the established system; let?s here from the alternatives programs. Jim Beall, Sr., retired charter school teacher, Applegate