Monday, October 3, 2022

In Case You Missed It – October 3, 2022

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

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Surprise...charter schools are wasting public money and NPE Executive Director, Carol Burris, discusses. Peter Greene sees a danger to public education in Justice Alito's opinion in the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision.

We also report on two local school systems.


Audit of charter school program finds big problems

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), an independent watchdog of the U.S. Department of Education, found that for 2013-16 grants only 51% of the schools promised by Charter School Programs (CSP) recipients opened or expanded. Read NPE Executive Director Carol Burris's piece in the Washington Post Answer Sheet.

From the Answer Sheet
The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Inspector General has released a new audit of the federal Charter School Programs that found some alarming results about how charter school networks have used millions of dollars in funding. Among other things, the audit found that charter school networks and for-profit charter management organizations did not open anywhere near the number of charters they promised to open with federal funding. This piece looks at the new audit and what it tells us.

...Charter schools are publicly funded but privately managed. The federal charter program, which began in 1994 with the aim of expanding high-quality charters, had bipartisan support for years, but many Democrats have pulled back from the movement, citing the fiscal impact on school districts and repeated scandals in the sector. The Biden administration is making some changes to the program in an effort to stop waste and fraud and provide more transparency to the operation of charters.

This piece was written by Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education and a former award-winning principal in New York. She has been chronicling the charter school movement and the standardized-test-based accountability movement on this blog for years. The Network for Public Education is an alliance of organizations that advocates for the improvement of public education and sees charter schools as part of a movement to privatize public education.


Alito's Time Bomb And Education

Curmudgucation blogger Peter Greene explains how a horrible court decision could adversely affect our public schools and our civil rights.

From Curmudgucation
...suppose their religious belief is offended by students from the Wrong Background or whose parents aren't properly married, or a whole laundry list of reasons to discriminate against students. [Justice] Kennedy was worried about decisions forcing the government to create new programs, but when it comes to education, the government program is already in place--public schools.

So Alito's time bomb could be used for any sort of "sincerely held" religious-based discrimination that charters or voucher-collecting schools care to impose. "Well, they can always just go to public school," becomes a free pass for any sort of discrimination, bigotry and repression they care to indulge in, and public schools become a dumping ground, resources stripped for choice programs. Not that this isn't already happening (see here and here), but Koppelman's argument suggests one more legal protection for this twisting of the promise of public education.

People of faith ought to oppose this sort of reasoning. When "sincerely held" religious belief becomes a free pass for all manner of misbehavior, it's only a matter of time before religion becomes overrun with scam artists and grifters who find it convenient to suddenly develop "sincerely held" beliefs. Same as it ever was.

FWCS approves window upgrade

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Fort Wayne Community Schools' facility director didn't want to estimate how many windows $1.5 million is buying at three buildings.

"I have no idea," Darren Hess told the school board as it considered the latest spending request supported by the district's $156 million allocation of federal emergency relief. "I'm not going to garner a guess."

The board on Monday unanimously awarded the window replacement contract to Schenkel Construction Inc., the lowest of two bidders.


Huntertown, NACS cooperate on annexation

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Board members of Northwest Allen County Schools on Monday agreed to allow Huntertown to annex district property surrounding Carroll Middle and Eel River Elementary schools.

There were no acrimonious comments from board members. No wrathful speeches to report. The vote was unanimous...
**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both are available with a subscription. Staying informed is important, and one way to do that is to support your local newspaper. For subscription information, go to [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


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