mcurrie

mcurrie 2 years, 1 month ago on State needs to rethink charter school idea

Charter schools are not intended to be competition for private schools. Currently, there are two types of charter schools in Georgia. Most charter schools are those that are authorized by local school boards, and they become charter schools in response to poor academic performance. The other charter schools are start-up charter schools that generally are opposed by local school boards. They are established to provide a choice for parents that do not feel that their county school system provides an educational environment that best suits their child's needs.

Politicians are not the ones that are increasing classroom size, decreasing the number of teachers and paraprofessionals and enlarging classroom size. The public should take a good, hard look at how their local school board spends the funds allocated to their system. Each system receives an amount per student from state and federal funds, and the money follows the child to which ever school system the child attends. The individual system determines how that money is spent with regard to teacher salaries, administrative salaries, support staff, etc. The teacher furloughs that school systems have experienced in the last few years are NOT the decision of the state. Instead, they are the reaction of school systems in response to reduced funding and/or budget cuts. Instead of the systems looking at reducing administrative staff or other expenditure reductions, they have furloughed teachers and therefore reduced the number of school days for the students. Pataula Charter Academy is a special state charter school in Edsion, Georgia. This year, PCA received approximately 3,400 dollars per student. There were NO furlough days for the past two years. The counties in PCA's area received up to three times that amount per student enrolled in the local county school systems and those systems furloughed teachers and students. What made the difference? Pataula Charter Academy is committed to spending its resources educating its children. The school's administrative staff is kept to a minimum, and the majority of the budget is spent on highly qualified staff and resources that will directly benefit the children. It's as simple as that. The school has a budget that is lean and mean, but the faculty and staff's daily goal is providing a quality education to the children whose parents have chosen PCA as their school of choice. Don't blame the state for the poor state of affairs in your school system, and don't blame the charter schools. Take a long, hard look at your school board and your top level administration. The buck stops there.

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