Letters to the Editor

Don’t give schools to for-profit companies

In response to Fred Springsteel’s letter, “Professor is glad charter schools were approved,” page A4, Nov. 23 Herald:

If Dr. Springsteel believes that the latest “education reform movement” — charter schools — will improve education, he may not know that the “National Association of Charter School Authorizers thinks that 900 to 1,300 of the privately run and publicly financed charter schools should close because they are in the bottom 15 percent of public schools in their states ...

“[T]he call for closing poor performers ... comes from advocates such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.” (The Seattle Times, Nov.  29).

While there are excellent charter schools and excellent public schools, Springsteel cannot judge our schools unless he actually teaches 150 teenagers per day. His one-on-one private tutoring work for $30 to $40 an hour is not quite in the same league with the work and experience of our public teachers.

Can a publicly financed, privately operated charter school select its students, offer small classes, kick out non-conforming teenagers and reject special ed and ESL students? That would not be fair. If, however, charter schools have the same obligations as public schools have, they would just siphon money from existing schools.

The League of Women Voters, the North Kitsap School Board and many other school boards were wise to reject Initiative 1240. Public education, healthcare and Social Security should not be handed over to for-profit companies.

James Behrend
Bainbridge Island


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