Segregation, Dropping Struggling Students Common in Florida Charter Schools


Diane Ravitch links to a Florida League of Women Voters study which detailed much of what readers of this blog already know  about the slimy, corrupt world of Florida’s charter school industry.

Approximately one-third of charters are run by for-profit management companies. Many screen students, then drop those who are not successful, which public schools are prohibited from doing. Charters also serve particular socio-economic groups, increasing segregation in schools.

Although charters tend to be smaller than traditional schools, there is no consistent difference in achievement for charter school and public school students.

Many charters blur the distinction between religious and non-secular schools. Some churches receive as much as a million dollars in lease payments annually for their facilities from charter schools.

In areas with declining enrollments, neither the charters nor regular public schools are large enough to adequately provide support for staff like nurses or counselors. Retaining teachers is also a problem; most charters offer lower salaries and benefits than public schools.

And can you say “conflicts of interest?”

 Senator John Legg Chair of Senate Education Committee is co-founder and business administrator of Daysprings Academy in Port Richey.

 Senator Kelli Stargel from Orange County is on board of McKeel Academies. She is on the Education Committee and sponsored the Parent Trigger Bill.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20130429/EDIT02/130429282

 House Budget Chairman Seth McKeel is on the board of McKeel Academy Schools in Polk
County.

 Anne Corcoran, wife of future House Speaker Richard Corcoran has a charter school in
Pasco County. http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/pascos-classical-prep- charter-school-delays-opening-for-a-year/1276912. Richard Corcoran is Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

 Senator Anitere Flores of Miami is president of an Academica managed charter school in Doral.

 Florida Representative Erik Fresen is Chair of the House Education subcommittee on appropriations. Representative Fresen’s sister is the Vice President of Academica and is married to the president. http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida- politics/content/ethics-commission-clears-miami-rep-erik-fresen-alleged-voting-conflict.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/14/2545708_p2/company-cultivates-links-to-

lawmakers.html

 George Levesque, Florida House lawyer cleared Erik Fresen of conflict of interest
concerns over charter schools. He is the husband of Patricia Levesque, former Jeb Bush Deputy Chief of Staff and currently Executive Director of the Foundation for Excellence in Education which promotes school choice. http://www.truthabouteducation.org/1/archives/01-2010/1.html.

 Representative Manny Diaz is Dean of Doral Academy, an Academica managed school. He is the leader for the new statewide contract bill in the Florida House. Doral College was cited by the Florida Auditor General for a $400,000 loan from Doral Charter High School. Conflict of Interest and procurement for Charters with federal grants: http://floridacharterschools.org/schools/taps/conflictinterest_att.pdf

 

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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