Are For Profit Charters the Enemy of K-12 Education?

Earlier this week, I did a long post on the views of the Governor and State School Superintendent candidates with respect to issues affecting elementary and secondary education. Part of my post talked about the candidates’ positions on charter schools, and a good bit of discussion was had in the comments regarding this statement by Democratic candidate for SSS Valarie Wilson:

And Ms. Wilson has suggested the prospect of rapid charter school growth—in particular the expansion of for-profit charter operators—will feed into the misleading narrative floated by “a sector of the reform world” that public schools are failing.

On the Twitters, there has been more discussion, including this exchange between Dr. Monica Henson, who runs a charter school, and Wilson:

While I think that Dr. Henson’s question about whether school systems contract with for-profit entities for services a bit of a red herring, Wilson’s answer bothers me as well.

K-12 schools are largely an oligopoly, where students attend the schools assigned to them by their public school system, unless they choose to pay additional money to attend a private school. For those that don’t have the resources to attend a private school, their local school is their only choice. Charter schools can provide another option for students and parents who believe the instruction offered by the local school system is inadequate.

The belief held by many in the pro-charter movement is that the competition provided by having a choice between traditional and charter schools will encourage both types to provide a better education than would otherwise be provided by a monopoly provider of “free” education. In a nutshell, that’s the same philosophy that differentiates capitalism from socialism.

What does this have to do with the difference between for-profit and non-profit charter schools?

No charter school will be able to operate without students. Parents won’t send their children to a charter school unless they can see a better educational outcome than attending a traditional school. Therefore, all charter schools, whether for-profit or non-profit, have an incentive to provide the best education they can. If they don’t, they won’t stay in business for long.

When you have a need to go to the hospital, does the question of whether a facility is for-profit or non-profit make a difference in deciding where to go? For most people, the quality of care they will receive is going to be a much more important factor. Healthy competition between traditional schools, for-profit charters, and non-profit charters, combined with a way for parents to compare student outcomes should work the same way.

64 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    I could careless if it is for profit or not for profit. The key issue if it is for profit, it cannot be that the tax payers take on the majority of liabilities, the private company gets all the upside while tax payers are left holding the bag if the deal goes bad ie bond payments, long term leases, students shifted into system mid year……

    It blows my mind after all the deals we tax payers have been left with on federal, county, state and city deals…we even debate this….

  2. benevolus says:

    What is their profit based on? Number of students? If you base it on outcome, maybe we can talk. I mean, why would public schools be assessed on outcomes but a for-profit on something else? A for-profit company is in in business to make a profit, so you have to make their goal the same as ours- successful students.

    This of course has it’s own large set of inherent problems.

  3. saltycracker says:

    “Parents won’t send their children to a charter school unless they can see a better educational outcome than attending a traditional school.” -Exactly-

    Wilson is throwing the “profit” red herring to protect the edu-cracy.

    Agree, guaranteeing private debt is a high risk venture.
    Along that govt/for profit line but maybe not educational related…..Stories of cities/agencies in order to do business with select private companies, low bid but shaky financials, find ways to pre-pay or advance funds in order for their contractor to perform. That, if true, might make beholding contractors but is risky business, too.

    • The parents thing is a nice feel good quote but I’m sure at least >0% of the time parents are making bad choices. When someone makes a bad choice with their own money that’s on them. When someone redirects tax money to Eagles Landing We Don’t Teach Evolution School or ISIS Academy, that’s on me as a taxpayer.

      • ryanhawk says:

        Medicare patients choose their doctor and hospital. Do you want to replace that private choice with a government assigned doctor and hospital? Food stamp reciepents choose their grocery store. Do you want to replace that private choice with a government operated food bank? Do you want to eliminate the choices provided by Section 8 Housing and replace it with government owned housing? Etc….

        Private provision of publicly financed goods and services results in better quality and results in each case. Welfare recepients usually understand this much better than do gooder liberals who often have no first hand experience with the shoddy alternatives on offer by state owned enterprises.

        • John Konop says:

          ………….Welfare recepients usually understand this much better than do gooder liberals …..

          LOL….This coming from the so called economist who is for tax payers guaranteeing loans, bonds and leases for private companies owning and or getting management fees from the charter schools….

          I got it you are for welfare for private business, but against it for people….LOL…No wonder this country is so far in the red….

        • Medicare patients have to go to a doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare and the rate has been negotiated by Medicare. A Medicare patient can’t go to Dr. Paul Broun, for example.

          Food stamp recipients can choose a grocery store IF the store takes food stamps, and when they get to that store they can only buy approved items.

          Section 8 houses have to be vetted and approved etc.

          In all of your examples, there is a combination of individual choice and regulation. And to be fair, that also exists in the charter school arena as state/county still needs to approve.

          For profit higher education, the closest proxy to for profit charter schools, is overall an absolute disaster. Students make terrible decisions about which school to go to, which major to pursue, how much to pay, how much to borrow etc.

          Note that I’m not saying there’s no role for for profit, just that I question that for-profit is by default better when it comes to education (the same way that I think a food bank could in theory be a better way to distribute food stamp food) and also that I think the idea that parents are always right about their education choice should be a good talking point but not a basis for policy on where my tax dollars are going. Charter schools routinely do no better than comparable public schools with test scores and other measures but I’m sure every parent “thinks” it’s the better choice.

          Well, do you believe a Medicare patient should be able to go to Dr. Paul Broun (who doesn’t have admitting rights at his local hospital) because they know what’s best for them? What about a Medicare patient that eschews chemotherapy and says just give me the taxpayer money and let me go get enemas every day?

          • John Konop says:

            Chris,

            Many are for for unlimited entitlements when they get them, and against them if they do not want them….ie why we are so far in the red…I actually appreciate the intellectual debate on this type of topic from you…because you do not hide that you are for the special entitlement…..I am always the bad guy telling both sides we cannot afford the current system….When I make my suggestions ie on this, healthcare……a lot do not want to hear about the tough love….The biggest joke about the Charter argument is how the anti charter have done such a poor job debating the liability side. At the end it is more about turf at times…..

          • John Konop says:

            Chris,

            Look at the lack of controls in our bill….and read below….BTW we have lots loopholes….and they are even legal…As I said I am not anti charter…but I am anti not enough controls with public money….

            …..Report: Pa. charter schools lost 30M to fraud, mismanagement….

            ………* Two officials with the Philadelphia Academy Charter School, Kevin O’Shea and Rosemary DiLacqua, were convicted in 2009 of defrauding the school of more than $900,000. They submitted fraudulent invoices for personal expenses.

            * Ina Walker, former CEO, and Hugh Clark, founder, of the New Media Technology Charter School, were sentenced to prison for stealing $522,000 in taxpayer funds, which were used to fund a restaurant and a private school.

            * Dorothy June Brown, who founded a number of charter schools including Laboratory Charter and Planet Abacus, is to be retried this year for allegedly defrauding $6.5 million from the schools and then attempting to cover it up…..

            http://articles.philly.com/2014-10-02/news/54522611_1_charter-schools-charter-organizations-planet-abacus

          • ryanhawk says:

            All charter schools in Georgia are public schools that have been vetted and are regulated. Charters face a much higher level of scrutiny regarding their operations and performance than do “traditional” public schools. So if your concern is for the level of regulation that filters out poor quality providers, you should prefer Charter schools to traditional public schools.

            • John Konop says:

              ….Charters face a much higher level of scrutiny regarding their operations and performance than do “traditional” public schools…

              HUH? Do you have facts? Can you show what we have in place for charter schools verse Pennsylvania? Can the public vote out school board members at a charter school in an election like in a public school? Since we pay for them why not? You may not care since you always brush by the tax payer liability issue….

        • You can use the special needs voucher to go here.
          http://mohammedschools.org/

          And I have no problem with this school, it’s just kind of weird that “parents know best” argument you could take your kid with a learning disability out of a public school that has a dedicated professional staff to deal specifically with that disability and put your child in any school you want and use the voucher to pay for it and the private school you pick doesn’t even have to cater to the disability that your child has. Hmmm…

          • saltycracker says:

            Guess that is the ISIS academy of concern for your diverted tax dollars as you believe all monies should go to public schools, havens from stupid parents……hmmmm

  4. FranInAtlanta says:

    Almost all (maybe all) of our neighborhood schools are charter and, when we were under NCLB, none of them made AYP. I don’t know about profit vs. non-profit, but not having adequate schools has tremendous downstream implications.

  5. IndyPendant says:

    Sure. And, while we’re at it, let them control the curriculum. So they can teach “patriotic” history like the district outside of Denver wants to do.

    Women’s Suffrage? Who cares? Civil Rights? Big deal.

    Where in the Constitution does it say Capitalism is the be all, end all?

  6. Robbie says:

    For me, I’ve found that when a school is a for-profit operation, they often make that their priority, and not their students’ education. I want a school that will put the students above all else. We’ve already seen so many cuts to education budgets – music, art, and so many other extra curricular activities are gone because of financial issues – and that’s by the people who actually want to put students first! How much worse could it be if a school is more concerned with turning a profit than with educating students in the best way possible?

      • Robbie says:

        I’m not confortable with the idea that students are customers, though. Education’s not a product to purchase. I’d rather they be students.

        • Harry says:

          I’m not sure that “public” schools put students first. This society is more and more about what’s in it for me, regardless of whether public non-profit or private for profit.

      • benevolus says:

        But if the priority of your customers is excellent education, but your contract says you get paid per student, those can be conflicting priorities.
        A for-profit company will know that they won’t last too long if they don’t show results, but on the other hand, there’s always an excuse for poor performance isn’t there? In the meantime, they will be wanting to grow their business and cut costs as much as possible. So, the easiest thing to foresee is that if they get paid per student, they will want to add students, but not teachers or staff. Class size is generally regarded as pretty important to quality education.

        • Robbie says:

          Competition between schools hasn’t really been proven to increase student achievement – the stats don’t support the idea that competition leads to better education. We’ve already been trying charter schools for two generations with no real amount of superiority over traditional schools, in terms of benchmarks and other statistics.

          Charter schools can be great for certain communities, but let’s not pretend that they’re going to solve every problem a school system has – they’re just going to become different problems, like low teacher pay, as pointed out by another commenter.

    • benevolus says:

      When people get better service at a hospital up the street, they go there and the hospital that loses “customers” will go out of business. But that assumes that the “good” hospital can grow and continue to offer better service. Is that how it would work with schools? The good schools would just keep adding on and getting bigger and we would close the bad schools?

        • benevolus says:

          Interesting.
          The first thing I found on them:
          “Success Academy, the charter school chain that boasts sky-high student scores on annual state tests, has for years used a “zero tolerance” disciplinary policy to suspend, push out, discharge or demote the very pupils who might lower those scores — children with special needs or behavior problems.”

          “At Harlem Success 1, the oldest school in the network, 22% of pupils got suspended at least once during the 2010-11 school year, state records show. That’s far above the 3% average for regular elementary schools in its school district.”
          http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/success-academy-fire-parents-fight-disciplinary-policy-article-1.1438753

          As I have said before, this argument needs to be about what happens to the kids who are not selected. Should we just go ahead and send them to juvenile detention now?

      • Robbie says:

        Competition between schools hasn’t really been proven to increase student achievement – the stats don’t support the idea that competition leads to better education. We’ve already been trying charter schools for two generations with no real amount of superiority over traditional schools, in terms of benchmarks and other statistics.

        Charter schools can be great for certain communities, but let’s not pretend that they’re going to solve every problem a school system has – they’re just going to become different problems, like low teacher pay, as pointed out by another commenter.

        • ryanhawk says:

          The best evidence, and the balance of evidence, indicates that charter schools do in fact increase student performance. Feel free to ignore that evidence or cherry pick statistics and studies that say the opposite if you would like. What is beyond dispute is that parents love charter schools and that charter schools are growing rapidly despite the many political, legal, and regulatory obstacles they face. Charters must be doing something right.

          You are correct that charters aren’t a solution to all problems. But no one claims they are and it isn’t a reasonable standard to apply when considering whether to enable more charter schools or to close down existing charter schools with a proven track record of success (which astonishingly is what some people want).

          • John Konop says:

            ………..The best evidence, and the balance of evidence, indicates that charter schools do in fact increase student performance. Feel free to ignore that evidence or cherry pick statistics and studies that say the opposite if you would like…..

            More wrong stuff…..The truth is some charter schools have done very well and others have been a disaster…any objective person would call it mixed results…Which is why the liability side is so important…But hey I am a fiscal conservative…and you are on the far left when putting tax payer money at risk for private business….

  7. Bobloblaw says:

    “”My objection: for-profit management companies running GROCERY STORES whose main objective should be FOOD, not profit””

    “”My objection: for-profit management companies running HOME BUILDING whose main objective should be HOUSING, not profit””

    “”My objection: for-profit management companies running CLOTHING STORES whose main objective should be CLOTHING, not profit””

  8. NewnanYankee says:

    My kids attend a charter school that is operated by a for-profit company.

    The school itself is non-profit. The company that manages it is for profit. As far as I understand, the management company receives the public funding at a prescribed rate per student as calculated by state law. By keeping the operating costs lower than normal public schools, that’s how they make their profit.

    As a result, salaries are predictably lower than most public schools. The administration is also much leaner.

    We have had some issues with staff turnover from year-to-year, but it hasn’t been too onerous.

    With the leaner admin staff, decisions tend to be swifter though. This is one issue that attracted us to the school.

    Capitol expenditures seem to be suffering. Once the legal issues of a couple of years ago were hammered out, our school did an classroom expansion. This was necessary to allow them to grow to the enrollment allowed in their charter. All other discussions on supporting expenditures have been very subdued. There appears to be some disappointment in the funding formula that the state approved.

    All in all, we are very happy there. Our school has been one of the top performing state-chartered schools. In my opinion – and confirmed with discussions with parents of kids at both public and private schools – our school maintains fairly rigorous academics.

  9. So to the healthcare management perspective:

    CHS (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=CYH) and HCA (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=HCA) are two massive FOR-PROFIT MANAGEMENT COMPANIES for Hospitals.

    Specifically, they specialize in Rural and Community sized hospitals.

    Here’s the rub: These companies can close a hospital if they’re not profitable. So, can these for-profit management companies close a school if it’s not profitable?

    Otherwise, I think it would be a great idea. The enemy here would be when the funding for students (FTEs) do not follow the child.

  10. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    The key issue is not whether “for-profit companies” (I maintain that I don’t know of any company that is in business NOT to make a profit, and even nonprofits have to maintain margins and reserves or they go out of business) should be involved in public education. They are, plain and simple, whether the school is public, private, parochial, district, or charter. The question is, what role should a private management company play in the operation of a public charter school?

    The answer to that question in Georgia has been left, for the most part, to the board of directors of each charter school, and herein lies the problem. If the board is not well-informed as to the nature of a private charter management arrangement, then the board is likely to go “all in” and give the management company near-complete control of the school’s operations, including hiring the staff and thereby controlling the administration. It is incumbent, therefore, on the AUTHORIZER to exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that the board retains the ability to ensure that all decisions are made based on what is in the best interest of educating children, not what is in the best interest of the management company’s bottom line.

    I am of the professional opinion that a charter school board of directors should retain hiring and firing authority over the staff, and the management company, if applicable, should be a service provider only. This is how the board of my school arranged our contract with our provider. It preserves the autonomy of the school administration and enables us to make decisions freely and without a “profit motive,” although as stewards of public funds we certainly pay attention to the financials and ensure that we maintain sufficient cash reserves, etc.

    The State Board of Education and the State Charter Schools Commission understand the fundamental conflict between profit motives and altruistic educational motives, and they have instituted increasingly stricter controls on the authorization process accordingly. Petitioners must demonstrate that the board will remain autonomous if they contract with a management company. Local school districts also have the power to authorize charters, but the quality of the authorization process at the local level runs the gamut from highly proficient to almost nonexistent.

    Quality authorization is the key to quality charter operation. Ms. Wilson and I are in complete agreement on that point.

    • Harry says:

      Your defined benefit pension plan is a deal killer. Eliminate that and I’ll support the concept. But your board won’t allow it.

      • Dr. Monica Henson says:

        Harry, we are members of TRS and this year we will begin offering a 403(b) plan as well. What are your objections to TRS? I’m always open to learning more about the economics of education.

        I’ve posted on this subject before: membership in TRS is a key driver in our recruitment of experienced Georgia teachers and administrators. It’s attractive to folks who want to stay in the TRS program.

        • Harry says:

          Real reform has to start somewhere. As John pointed out, the problem is that too often taxpayers get left holding the bag. Yes, I’m philosophically opposed to defined benefit pensions for public employees where the taxpayers who support them do not have the means of themselves benefiting from such plans but are expected to support them for the public employees over the remaining decades and lifetimes. That’s my objection. For charter schools, you need to be looking for dedicated teachers outside the box who are not interested in a guaranteed meal ticket; for example people who have relevant experience in the private sector as STEM professionals, accountants, people with writing skills, cultural skills.

          • Dr. Monica Henson says:

            OK, thanks for the clarification. I understand your philosophical opposition–I don’t agree that public school teachers should not have access to TRS as a retirement option.

            I also disagree that you have to look outside of certificated, experienced career teachers to find dedication and outside the box thinking–and I speak as someone who came into teaching through alternative certification myself. While I certainly value experience in the private sector, mid-career switchers are generally NOT better teachers out of the gate. Interestingly, many of them are also seeking what you refer to as a “guaranteed meal ticket.”

            There is a substantial amount of pedagogical knowledge, classroom management, and other skills that have to be developed for a teacher to be effective. I used to train mid-career switchers into public education via The New Teacher Project. It is dramatically easier said than done.

            If I have a choice between hiring a successful high school math teacher with five years under his/her belt or an actuary who’s never set foot in a classroom other than as a student, I’ll take the experienced high school teacher. Every time.

            • Harry says:

              So how is a charter school in reality any different from a normal public school? Other than they seem to derive their students from other than the general student population?

              Do you think it’s socially just that taxpayers should have to support a higher level of job benefits than they themselves receive? Doesn’t that result in a privileged class of government above the rest of us thraeler?

              • Dr. Monica Henson says:

                It really depends on the specific mission of the charter school as to how different any charter is from any district public school. Some charters are geared to specific methodologies, others to specific populations. Mine is geared toward serving historically underserved high school populations. We use blended learning to serve the students. We don’t turn any kids away as long as they meet age and residency requirements. Pregnant, parenting, previously expelled/long-term suspended, incarcerated…if it’s a square peg, it fits into our model. Some have called me the Statue of Liberty of public education.

                I don’t see a state pension for working in a public school as a privileged class of government employee. I view it like I do public service student loan forgiveness: an enticement to make earning a relatively low salary for public service still an affordable career option.

                • Harry says:

                  Schoolteachers these days gross 45k on average which is 2x the prevailing income in 90% of Georgia communities. Add to that days off equivalent to 14+ weeks per year, the 3-4k/month defined benefit retirement plans, and you can begin to appreciate why many of us feel that there’s a taxpayer injustice. A good start would be to put teachers and federal employees on social security and give them a chance to contribute to a defined contribution plan if they wish.

                • Harry says:

                  And oh yes, retirement in the early 50s with a pension for the rest of their life, and then they go out and get a second career and double dip on social security benefits. In no other country is there such a system, and yet we have the lowest educational results in the developed world.

                  • benevolus says:

                    I don’t think teachers in Cobb get 14 weeks off. Maybe 9, but it’s not like they aren’t planning and preparing for the next year during that time. Curriculum changes, technology changes, staff changes, all require attention. At many schools if they want their classrooms repainted they have to do it themselves. Who else is going to do it? And until this year’s 1%, they hadn’t had a raise in 7 years. They have to be there early to help get buses unloaded, most stay late many evenings for various after-school tasks such as preparing for science fairs or staff meetings.

                    Read it anywhere you want- one of the things we see everywhere there are successful systems is that teachers are valued, compensated, collaborated with, and excellence is demanded in return.

                    Teachers are skilled professionals like doctors, lawyers, CPA’s, and Civil Engineers. As long as there is resistance to accepting that, we will always have trouble extracting excellence from the school system. It’s not like Mayberry anymore.

                    • Harry says:

                      Including the last week or two of May, all of June and July, the first week or so of August, Fall break, Christmas break, Spring break, and personal days off, it’s more like 14 weeks. You say these are “successful systems”. They are not. When the US is last in test results among developed nations and Georgia is last in the US , these are hardly “successful systems”!

                    • benevolus says:

                      I am saying any search you do for “successful school systems” or something similar, anywhere in the world, will yield consistent criteria attributable to that success.

                    • Harry says:

                      What we are doing don’t achieve those success criteria. Yes, we think we’re successful but we’re not. Our graduates are not competitive.

    • John Konop says:

      Monica,

      Do you think the private management company and or related investors should be able to own the property and or land the shool is on? Do you think tax payers should be on the hook for bonds, loans, log term leases for a profit company and or investors who gain from the transaction? Do you think voters who are funding the local charter school be able to vote for school board members at the charter school for oversight? I do agree with separation idea of power….

        • Dr. Monica Henson says:

          Excellent point and well taken. The general public assumes that elected local boards of education have oversight of school administration as well. It all depends on the quality of the board, whether it’s an elected local board of education or a nonprofit board of directors. In the case of charter schools, the authorizer holds substantial authority if a board proves to be problematic in its oversight of the school’s administration.

      • Dr. Monica Henson says:

        John, the ownership of the property can really be a mixed bag. In some cases, the management company owns the property and leases it to the board. This is one method that management companies employ to indenture the board so that it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the board to part ways with the management company. Another method that management companies use is to act as a lender to the board, lending them the funds to purchase or lease the property. Again, it’s a double-edged sword for the board, and in my professional opinion, a dangerous practice if a board seeks true autonomy.

        However, management companies frequently recruit the founding board members and deliberately seek parents who are emotionally invested in having a school choice option but don’t necessarily possess the business acumen to be able to discern the best choices. Some management companies are way too involved in the activities of the board and essentially direct the board, which is completely backwards from the intent of the law. Again, it goes back to quality authorizing. Authorizers need to exercise sufficient oversight, from the very beginning, in order to ensure that boards will be autonomous and the management company will be kept in its proper place.

        There is at least one management company in this state that is contracting directly with rural boards of education to operate district-“owned” online schools as an “overflow” method to work around the cap on enrollment in virtual charter schools. There is nothing in the law to prevent this practice, and it’s a logical outgrowth of the free market. It’s fraught with the potential for problems, though.

        Opening its own online school is a finanical boon to small districts with declining enrollment, as it enables them to generate a new income stream and balance their budgets. Nevertheless, these district boards of education may not have the internal expertise to understand from the beginning how to oversee these schools effectively. They then might cede most or all of the control of them to the management company in exchange for retaining a percentage of the FTE funds that the management company receives to operate the school.

        There is a substantial difference in governing an online school that draws students from across the state compared to operating a local brick-and-mortar school. Cyberliability insurance is a must for the board to purchase. The parent and student handbook of the local district needs to be customized to the distinctive differences posed by the virtual environment. Other issues can create big liabilities for a board unversed in the governance of virtual education.

        For example, special education has been for years a real conundrum in the virtual environment. Districts that open their own online schools are not exempt from providing special education services to students who enroll, and if they permit a management company to handle enrollment, it is incumbent on the district to ensure that the company doesn’t violate the law in dealing with special education applicants.

      • Dr. Monica Henson says:

        In response to your subsequent questions, John, whether taxpayers are “on the hook” for long-term leases if a charter school closes, that is up to the authorizer of the charter school. Most lenders are not going to go into a long-term lease with a charter board of a school with a five-year charter term. They will, however, go into business with a management company that cosigns the application or holds the lease itself. The authorizer should closely scrutizine the proposed contact between the charter petitioner and the management company to ensure that the taxpayers won’t be left holding the bag.

        Do I think that voters who fund the local charter school should be able to vote for the charter school board members? No, I do not. If that happens, then all you have is a traditional school district in micro form if it’s an independent startup school. In the case of a locally-authorized charter school or a conversion school, you already have that in place, because the local district board of education/authorizer is elected by the voters.

        • John Konop says:

          In all due respect, you are dedicated and I would bet run a fine charter school. I respect the fact that you are honest about being a democrat who is more liberal than I via government spending and lack of financials controls. You and Ryan Hwak have the God given right in our country to promote liberal spending ideas. At the end of the day this is about do we have enough controls in place on a macro to stop tax payers being abused…unlike Ryan you have been honest about some of the issues….Unless we have the controls in place we tax payers will get left holding the bag….ie human nature….The Ryan excuse that hey do not worry the other guy is worse so give us less oversight….is stuff I hear from my kids when they were very young….I do think you would be a great asset to be on a board to creat real rules for charter school policy….Because your opinions are based on logic agree or not they are not emmotional….

          • Dr. Monica Henson says:

            Smiling at the idea that anyone thinks of me as promoting “liberal spending.” I am quite possibly the only public school superintendent in Georgia who will say that my school is funded well enough to operate responsibly, even though we are funded substantially lower per pupil than district and brick-and-mortar schools. 🙂

            • John Konop says:

              As I said I would bet you run a fine school…But controls are put in place not based individuals when money is at risk, but on best practices to protect the money. A liberal view of this is do not worry we got the right person…well how did that workout via the last lending crisis, the billions lost and stolen in the last Iraq war……? Rules should be put place to keep honest people honest….I have warned for years bad controls only leads to abuse over time….As this abuse happens it will tarnish people like yourself who do a good job with controls…

  11. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    I appreciate your kind words. I do believe that quality authorizing and effective oversight renders the individual question largely moot. If a board of directors is doing its job, then they are monitoring and overseeing the school’s leadership so that spending doesn’t get out of control. If the authorizer is doing its job, then it ensures that the board is doing the monitoring.

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