Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Charter School Advocates Attack Public School Budgets In Albany

For those of you who say that some charter school proponents and education "reformers" aren't out to destroy the public school system, what do you say to this story?

ALBANY -- A group associated with Albany's charter schools sent out multiple fliers and likely paid for a push poll to kill the Albany school budget.

At least three separate fliers were sent to Albany residents in the last two weeks that encouraged voters to reject the school budget and intentionally exaggerated a tax rate increase to mislead voters. A telephone push poll also asked city residents leading questions including if they were fed up with tax increases and wasteful spending.

A postal record, obtained by a Times Union Freedom of Information request, lists the customer who paid for the mailings as "School Performance." Tom Carroll, who founded the Brighter Choice Foundation -- which supports all of the city's 11 charter schools -- is on the board of School Performance Inc., according to the most recent public records available. Chris Bender, executive director of Brighter Choice, has also served on the School Performance board.

Two mailings sent out by Mail Works, a direct to mail company, went to 32,178 city residents, records show. Postage alone cost $6,766. However, the total cost spent by the charter affiliate to defeat the Albany budget is likely far greater because a third mailing went out and the push poll was conducted over a few weeks. The professionally printed cards could have also cost thousands of dollars.

Albany's charter schools are currently reimbursed about $12,000 per student by the Albany school district. A defeat of the budget would have no effect on the charter schools, which received $30 million in Albany taxpayer money this school year.

Albany Superintendent Ray Colucciello said the mailings show voters that some charter operators would stoop to a clandestine attack just to harm the public schools. He said that it will make it harder to have collaboration with charter schools in the future.

"How can you work together with someone who would try to defeat the resources for 8,500 kids?" he said.

You can't work with someone like that.

Just like you can't work with education leaders and politicians who break their promises and/or renege on deals like the one the UFT made with Joel Klein and the DOE over not publishing the teacher data reports in the media or the deal the UFT and NYSUT made on teacher evaluations with the NYSED that had 20% of teacher evals tied to state test scores, a deal the Regents broke on Monday when they voted they voted to change the percentage of teacher evals tied to tests to 40%.

H/T Norm at Ed Notes

1 comment:

  1. Although this is not directly related, there is a movement to destroy public education on a number of fronts. Here is an article about attacks from the Christian right. Sometimes, the attackers overlap--they belong to multiple groups, such as corporate American and the Christian right. "The DeVos Family: Meet the Super-Wealthy Right-Wingers Working With the Religious Right to Kill Public Education" | | AlterNet