Neighborhood Charter School

Saturday, February 23, 2013
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I read with alarm your news report that Peabody Charter School had just held its annual lottery for children who live in that school’s attendance area and that some families were likely to be disappointed because of lack of places. I raised a family in the Peabody School district and would never have dreamed that today my children might not be able to attend their neighborhood school at the end of the street. While I realize that the concept of a charter school involves an open enrollment policy and the numbers may be unpredictable, it seems unfair and unjust that children who live in the immediate vicinity cannot be guaranteed a place. In view of the apparent space problem, I also question why children of employees would have priority over neighborhood children. Charter schools offer educational benefits that appeal to many families, but these schools should not usurp the rights of the families living nearby.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Families spend oodles to buy homes in good school districts. And yet all kids deserve a good school.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, all kids deserve a good education at a good public school. Among many other flaws, some of which Gov Brown is attempting to eliminate, the state of Calif. is in the lowest quartile of all states in amount of $ spent per student per year. We're still under $10,000 @ year (even with Prop 30 & more parcel taxes) compared to NY State's $19,000! Shameful.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 1:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe I'm way behind the times, but at 25 children per class, $10,000 is $250,000.00 per year. Given that the median teacher's salary is $60,000 in SB elementary schools, that leaves $190,000 to pay for aides, classroom maintenance, materials, and administrative costs.
I don't think the problem is money, or at the very least it isn't just money. Illiterate or uninvolved parents, boring curriculum, and a popular culture that devalues intellect and glorifies louts is much more to blame. As for Peabody, I think neighborhood children definitely should have priority. Parents in other neighborhoods can form their own charter schools and copy the Peabody model if they want to.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 7:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This letter proves just part of the lie of charter schools. Anybody who advocates for charter schools is no friend of education, just privatization.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 11:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree poodles that "Illiterate or uninvolved parents, boring curriculum, and a popular culture that devalues intellect and glorifies louts is much more to blame[.]" for our education problems. However, MONEY really IS a big part of the problem, and you accept this by honestly admitting "at the very least it isn't just money."
Since it's an entire other issue to discuss the demerits of our popular culture, the culture of amnesia, the screen-obsessed youth...ETC ETC ... Then, one thing the State of Calif. can do is spend this money much more wisely -- Brown is trying (reduce the number of "buckets"), and then begin to increase it. Most of the prosperous EU states of the northern tier spend quite a bit more on public education -- it's obviously an intelligent thing to support.
I agree KV that charter schools are not necessarily better, and in many cases they are just a front for 'privatizing education'. Sen. Rubio wants to privatize all public education, like his robotic model Romney, and use vouchers (but termed something else).

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Like Mein Kampf these rats masquerading as Republicans announced their strategy decades ago: starve the government until it can no longer function- break it so you can say it's broken- sabotage.
So they've starved the schools and messed with curriculum* (teaching to tests) and now of course your favorite corporation has the "solution."

*This is in direct reference to "No Child Left behind" which left all children behind. SB Unified would've had to dumb down their math and science curriculum to get NCLB funding if that helps illustrate the point.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 11:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As a recent NPR piece detailed, the same thing is happening to the Postal Service. Republican members of Congress who care more about ideology and less about public service have been setting up the USPS for failure.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I tried to explain this to a friend of mine (how Congress is forcing the USPS to pay pensions 50 years in advance on employees who haven't even applied and how it's bankrupting the system and they ended up disowning me. And they self-identify as liberal!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Notice they never want to starve the "War on Drugs" or any of the other wars. Maybe if they did they could put the money into the schools and other public service entities and lo and behold, I bet you find less people involved in drugs and crime!
But then local police departments wouldn't need tannks, which is a whole 'nother industry.
Eisenhower's warning about a military-industrial complex has come to be, it is manifest everywhere. Corporate personhood? Blackwater.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And here's a chilling report on the private prisons we now have in the US, to quote:

"Over the past four decades, imprisonment in the United States has increased explosively, spurred by criminal laws that put more people in prison for longer sentences. At the same time, the nation has seen the rise of for-profit prison companies, which benefit from keeping more people locked up. "

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

today's LATimes shows that some THOUSANDS of paroled sex offender & violent criminals just CHUCK their mandated GPS devices...since the government is always running out of money, the State pushed many prisoners back to our local county jails, and THEY cannot follow-up on these (95%male) violent predators now roaming California.
The point is that I agree with KV's take on the Republican strategy [I'd call it libertarian-on-steroids]: "starve the government until it can no longer function- break it so you can say it's broken- sabotage."
Sabotage from within the halls of government: it's also a drive to pit the oldsters on Social Security vs. the legitimate needs of funding public education. AARP vs. Kids-R-Us, ya know?
There are a lot of types of Charter Schools out there.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 24, 2013 at 1:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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