Bernie Sanders calls for banning for-profit charter schools

Image provided via Flickr by Gage Skidmore

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) is prepared to take on for-profit charter schools in defense of public education.

Charter schools are controversial, especially for-profit schools that are siphoning federal funds from public schools that desperately need more money, not less.

These for-profit charter schools pay teachers less, pick and choose their students and do not perform as well academically than public schools.

According to the Network for Public Education, which cited studies, “The charter school sector does not get better academic results than public schools and often performs worse. Charters sometimes appear to do
better because they can control the types of students they choose to serve.”

And despite being for-profit, these charter schools take money away from public schools that truly do accept all students, causing public schools to get by on less funding.

Sanders wants to change that by reigning these schools in.

Indeed, the NAACP Task Force on Quality Education has recommended ending charter schools.

“No federal, state, or local taxpayer dollars should be used to fund for-profit charter schools, nor should public funding be sent from non-profit charters to for-profit charter management companies,” the report says. “The widespread findings of misconduct and poor student performance in for-profit charter schools demand the elimination of these schools.”

In fact, one study reveals charter schools are “more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the nation.”

In short, charter schools are a way around Brown v. Board of Education to return to segregation.

According to CNN, Sanders’ plan would do the following:

–Mandating that charter schools comply with the same oversight requirements as public schools

–Mandating that at least half of all charter school boards are teachers and parents

–Disclosing student attrition rates, non-public funding sources, financial interests and other relevant data

–Matching employment practices at charters with neighboring district schools, including standards set by collective bargaining agreements and restrictions on exorbitant CEO pay

–Supporting the efforts of charter school teachers to unionize and bringing charter schools to the negotiating table

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, supports the plan.

“For the last several decades, the unregulated growth of private charter schools has siphoned off money from public schools, with little protection against fraud, and little attention paid to equity or quality when it comes to educating kids,” Weingarten said. “The senator’s plan takes tangible steps toward making the charter school industry accountable to parents and the public.”

Public education is only getting worse as President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continue their crusade against it in favor of charter schools. It’s time to put a stop to it, and Bernie’s plan is a good start.

Featured Image: Gage Skidmore