The Liberal Patriot Blog
 The Liberal Patriot Blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information about National and State [New Hampshire] Political Action, News, and Events.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A walking contradiction....

n September of 2004, there were two. By the end of the last school year, there were six. But over the summer, one closed because it didn't have enough money. This week, another opened and several more are in the works.

Charter schools seem to be catching on statewide, and more students from Berlin to Goffstown are enrolling in the small, highly focused public schools. But while the schools report academic success, paying the bills has proven more difficult. And it only promises to get harder unless state lawmakers make major changes, an option that not everyone involved sees as probable.

It has been three years since the state secured $7.2 million in federal grants for a 10-year pilot program to establish up to 20 charter schools in New Hampshire. The grants were to be divvied up among the schools, depending on their enrollment, and used to pay start-up costs for three years.

But the schools, many in their second year, have come to rely on that money. With only $3,500 per student from the state, and per-pupil costs between $6,000 and $10,000, school officials say they use that money to fill the gaps. Towns do it with local taxes, but because charter schools are open-enrollment schools, meaning anyone can attend, they don't have that option.

All charter school officials interviewed for this story said they're worried about their schools' uncertain financial future. With the grant money scheduled to run out next year, they said, they've started to put together contingency plans and look to the state government.

"The state has put us in a precarious place," said Emily Hamilton, director of the Seacoast Charter School in Stratham.

Part of the "enchantment" with charter schools is that they pledge to teach kids better for less money, said Sue Hollins, a charter school enthusiast and head of the New Hampshire Center for School Reform.


It’s hilarious to me that anyone thinks they can do a better [or same] job educating kids for LESS money than our massively under funded public schools. What makes this article even more hilarious is that the charter school people are hollering for MORE MONEY to support their plan to educate kids with less money. They are just proving the point that public school advocates have been making since the inception of the idea of charter schools. You can’t educate kids for cheaper than is already being done EVEN when you hire non-union uncertified teachers.

The money wasted on this experiment could best be used in the PROVEN public school system. Charters schools will be asking for more money up until the minute the book closes on their failed experiment. The only CHEAPER part of charter schools is how they seek to redefine teacher’s pay and benefits more in the line with a hourly wage earning daycare worker than that of a skilled and well trained professional. Guess what kind of teachers they get to take those jobs?

Many of these dismantle-the-public-school “reformers” would like to see any kid coming out of high school be eligible for a $15 an hour job teaching. You DON’T see these wealthy families sending their Harvard bound children to “charter” schools.

Nicely said, Jon.
Maybe nicely said but I absolutely disagree with your assertion that the public school system is "proven". That's a huge, misleading, disingenuous (dare I say Righty???) campaign excuse that blames "the legislature" for the problems. Our public school system blows major. Underfunded schools need a proper, sustainable, dedicated funding system brought about, perhaps and possibly, by;
1) a broad based funding system such as an income tax
2) sales tax
3) additional property tax on second homes {and excise to all homes purchased and those that exceed regional median price}, to include swank condoes (Mountain View Grand anyone???) and time shares
4) National Education tax taken out of your income tax already being paid, similar to the plan from Robert Reich.
Finally, get the Feds and the State elected and appointed idiots out of the cirriculum and decision making process!!! Let them fund same but not interfere with your communities.
I support fully funding charter, home and public schooling.
Now that's nice!!!
Here's another point... This town of Stark is in the middle of accepting, (before We the People had a chance to speak on the issue), a brand spaking new fire truck to the home land security grant tune of $250,000-. We can REALLY afford that match here!!! We have 4 firemen properly trained enough to even go into a fire and the rest, around 14 or so, I would not trust to put a fire out in my privy. A grant is not free $$$ people. I would have less of a problem receiving this grant to the school. Our brave firemen respond to approximately 12-15 calls per year. Three are actually fires. No homes have been saved, ever here in Stark and those of the surrounding municipality agreement. This is info from town reports. Now, if you want to fund your shcools, tell home land security, Ray Burton, John Gallus, Prince of Pork Charlie Bass (all facilitators of this fire truck scam), to stop funding pork to towns with 518 residents that have 3 fires, on a bad year, annually. Some other community could use this bridge to nowhere and the 4 story town garage. We don't...
wjcowie - It makes me sad that you've bought into the right wing "gubmint bad" line of thinking. Public schools are good, or at least they used to be. I recieved a fine public school education - back in the olden days when there were art and music classes, as well as athletics. We were taught Civics, too.

The right wing is intent on dismantling the public education system - so that only the wealthy will get a good education, and the rest of the drones can work at Wal-Mart or serve as cannon fodder. It's the right wingers who don't care about education. If we really cared about kids - we'd spend every dime it took to give 'em a good education. That we begrudge every dime tells you how much we value our children in the USA. The wingers love charter schools, because it takes funds away from public schools, and many charter schools are religious. Charter schools should not recieve public funding, in my opinion. Religious education can go fund itself.

Okay - as for "gubmint is bad" - the government is OURS. We own it. It's supposed to represent US. For a variety of apathetic reasons, we're chosing to ignore that, and behave as though gubmint is some monolith that has nothing to do with us. It is us. And it's up to us to seize control.
Oh, yeah - a sales tax is regressive and will hurt poor folks. The wealthy will be able to shop outside of the tax, but the average joe's and josephines will not. A graduated income tax is the most progressive tax - and would require NH's many millionaires to pay their fair share.

Okay, off the soapbox for now.
I don't disagree with much here especially that the public schools used to be good. I got an VERY EXCELLENT public school edumacation and still remember my favorite teachers. I also know what government perfidy means. I wholeheartedly agree that government is ours. I wholeheartedly agree we need to take it back. I have presented a few, what I would consider attempts at, solutions, and whether the sales tax is regressive was not my point. I am open to, and more than willing to support, any alternative that our current elected elected elite will not even speak about at the texas holdem tourney. Public or private funds to charter schools is not the be all end all of this issue. The more Right Wing Radical Christian Clerics that fund their own racist cirriculum to get them off the public dole, the better. We can never legislate recisim out of our lives nor the fact that we will be exposed to this unfortunate fact of life. They will be their own problem when the many factions come to a head about eachothers specific issues.

I do believe, however, that the government of today is the problem. We made it and we allow it to flourish adinfinitum. The government of today is US as we have both alluded to here. It is all on us. Sleeping through the revolution will not help us win. I have 2 quotes then I'll shut up,errr, for now...

"Either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every 4 years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of those things but will pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies."
Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope 1966


"Indicting one crop of partisan politicians and bringing in another is only a temporary solution...
[T]ake away the politicians power and you take away the very currency of corruption."
Ron Paul-very R-Texas to The Hill newspaper,2006.

Very interesting I'd say... Does this mean we do not learn from history??? The same painting with a different brush??? Quite clearly, we are bound to be forever losers for the want of getting active. INDEPENDENT rise up!!! I'm all about positive change not whoring to and buying into the right or left ideology...

Thank you Susan. Really.
Will - I hope I didn't come across as being grumpy with you. I'm not mad at you. I'm just a grumpy old "liebrul."
Not at all. I am a grumpy, oldish, fed up, voter trying to break into the maelstrom. How can we solve the problems unless we have dialogue such as this? We are the ones actually making these issues, education funding solutions, racism, economic and social injustice, health care, civil rights, etc... come to the fore so we really shouldn't worry about stepping on toes, as long as we are respectful. Hey, is there some sort of football game on today???

What I meant but "public school works" is that fully funded public schooling is shown through numerous studies to be VERY effective in teaching kids and in preparing them for college and good paying jobs.

I, of coarse, home school my kids. So what's the disconnect there?

My idea was that Public School is a proven system that works effectively as compared to the hair brain scheme of public school. It is not perfect but it is also not a plan to dismantle society so that rich people can keep more of there money.

Also good government can and should help people... but ideally free associations of free and informed individuals is better.

Also when "no/less government" is just a scheme to leave people hungry, children uneducated, and generally allow a few people to take all the money and power use it to trample others it's a VERY BAD IDEA.
Very very bad my brother. Don't quit!!!
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