Tuesday July 26, 2016
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I can't really answer that question.
Just a clarification. Charter schools in Arizona are not private schools. They are public schools and cannot charge tuition. While they can be owned by a private party, they must still be run according to A.R.S. 15-8 statutes.
Nice article Don. And thank you (and Dave LaMotte) for picking up this task.
Back to the thread question: Are charter schools better? Some are way better, some are the same, some are way worse. No real definitive answer. The reason is, that they are under a different set of operational laws than the regular public schools. Hence they have an advantage. Many (in fact most) by design are small, thus more nimble and able to respond more quickly to parent and student needs. Since they are "stand alone" and privately owned, they do not have to cut through a lot of bureaucracy.
They also have another huge advantage unavailable to the regular public school. They can build a building to a certain capacity. Once it is filled they can create a waiting list and are not required to take more students. The advantage to this is some smart operators build up large waiting list of quality candidates. Over time they simply suggest that some who are currently attending the school may do better in the regular public school. When the student withdraws their slot can conceivable be filled with a higher performing student. You can see that over a few years an operator could cull the population down to the brightest and best.
In contrast, the regular public school (for example Payson) must take whoever and how ever many students enter the district. If they receive more students then they have capacity for, they must build out, which usually takes a capital bond. There is no waiting list.
Pat. It is not only like a charter school. It is a charter school. I along with Jim Rolfs and Russ Kinzer, dreamed it up and made the original design on a napkin at the doughnut shop in Payson North. We then went to the state charter board at that time and procured stimulus funding. It falls under the category of a district charter school. At the time there were several ways to start a charter school 1) District sponsorship, 2) College Sponsorship, 3) Charter Board Sponsorship, 3) County Sponsorship 4) District Charter School. PCS runs under it's own charter but is part of the district. Consequently, it is "owned" by the district. There are other charter schools that are privately owned.
Pat, Charter schools must self fund their buildings and property - like a business.
The answer is they are supposed to be under the same USFR accounting codes as the regular public schools. However, they are able to operate under a number of different laws. Yes, they can be "for profit".
Just a point of clarification. I don't have a dog in the fight either but accurate information is important. ALA is not a private school. It is an public charter school. Charter schools in Arizona are pubic schools. There is no tuition - it would be illegal. It is funded by the state based on ADM much like the traditional public schools.
Just some history. What Kyle is saying is true. He was basically told he had to go to the middle school to teach math, though he had no experience teaching at the middle school level. It was a vindictive act. Kyle said, "Fine, I'll go somewhere else and teach math." and moved. Less than a year later the high school was posting for a math teacher. Fortunately the individual who engineered it was demoted and is now gone. Just a bit too late.
I supervised Kyle for five years. He was and is an outstanding geometry teacher. Probably the best I've ever supervised in the area of teaching geometry. PHS losing him was grievous. Especially in light of the fact that he was run out.
here is the amazing thing. Kyle is retiring at the end of this year. He still has ties here. He could legally come back and teacher math under Smart Schools. However, I don't think he would consider it because of the way he was treated.
I am not a part of ALA and am not for or against it, nor am I LDS, however I feel compelled to clarify here. ALA being owned by people who belong to the LDS church does not make it an LDS school. It is not any more an LDS institution than a charter school owned by a person who is a member of a Baptist church or the Catholic church. The state will not approve a sectarian charter. Be assured, a charter school would be taking a huge risk by advocating for a specific church or religion, or by hiring according to a person's religious persuasion.
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