Jeff Bryant: Industry Lobbying Firm Rushes To Defend Charter Schools That Think of Children as Businesses
Jeff Bryant is an independent journalist covering education. In this piece, he looks at the organized pushback from the National Association of Public [sic] Charter Schools to proposed legislation that aims to cut back charter school profiteering.
While the proposal from House Democrats is clearly aimed at ending federal funding of a specific type of charter school operation, NAPCS, in its petition campaign, claims that the new legislation would “cut off ALL federal funding” to any charter school that contracts with any sort of business entity, which would seem to suggest that the proposal jeopardizes federal funds to all charters, since virtually all schools, charter and public, outsource some services—such as transportation, textbooks, or grounds maintenance—to outside providers.
NAPCS’s president and CEO Nina Rees told a CNN reporter that the legislation “could impact schools that contract out for cafeteria services, special education services, or back office staff.”
After the CNN article was published, it was updated with a quote from Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat who chairs the House committee that drafted the proposal, who called NAPCS’s petition campaign “a well-funded misinformation campaign,” and said, “The language [of the proposed legislation] is clearly focused on ending the practice of charters accepting federal funds only to have the school run by a low-quality, for-profit company rife with conflicts of interest.”
In an email sent to the CNN reporter, and shared with Our Schools, NPE executive director Carol Burris wrote, “Rees knows that the intent of the House is not to ban bus contracts,” and she called the cut to the federal CSP “modest,” adding that the same cuts have been proposed by House Democrats “for the past two years.”
Misleading to Say the Least
Indeed, claims that House Democrats would somehow make charter schools “do without food, plumbing, and books,” as Rees claimed in a tweet, seem misleading to say the least.
Read the entire piece here.