At the end of April I wrote an entry that used an example of two cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania that were approved over the objections of the elected school board (numerous times in fact), and now the elected school boards were having to use public education dollars to fight a legal battle to close these cyber charter schools that were rife with corruption – and the cyber charter schools were using public education dollars to fight to closure (public money put to good use). That entry also used an example of where a charter school organization wanted to close a perennially underperforming cyber charter school and the for-profit corporation and its parents were fighting that closure.
Last week I wrote an entry that talked about how a state board of education, appointed to make educational decisions in the best interests of the students of the state, had decided to not consider an application for a cyber charter school because they questioned the quality of educational opportunity the for-profit corporation provided. That state board of education was overruled by a judge.
In the past day or two the following article came across my electronic desk:
State overrules Volusia County School Board, OKs virtual charter school
By DEBORAH CIRCELLI, EDUCATION WRITER
The Daytona Beach New-Journal
DAYTONA BEACH — A virtual charter school was given the green light by the state to start operating in Volusia and other area counties.
The state Board of Education overturned the Volusia County School Board’s decision to deny the application last fall of the Central Florida Virtual Board and the Florida Virtual Academy.
The School Board had several concerns with the application, including the school’s governance and lack of oversight, its curriculum and financial plan. The Charter School Appeal Commission in February supported denying the application. The Central Florida Virtual Board and Florida Virtual Academy appealed to the state, which decided this past week to overturn the decision as well as decisions by school boards in other area counties for various charter and virtual charter school companies.
Charter schools are public schools operated by private groups under contracts with local school boards.
Volusia County School Board attorney Ted Doran said the board at its May 22 meeting will discuss the state’s decision. He said the board can either comply with the ruling for the online school, which wants to open as soon as possible, or appeal the decision to the 5th District Court of Appeal.
Over the past few months I’ve witnessed first hand how the money thrown around by these for-profit companies can influence legislators to ignore data, ignore performance in other jurisdictions, and ignore their own previously well crafted legislation – all because of the lobbying and political influence that comes with the money that multi-million dollar corporations can bring to bear.
As these examples continue to illustrate, money talks in the American education system. And it seems to be the only thing those who have the final say are listening to!