For Profit Charter Schools and The Obvious Question

Abandoned school building in ; seen from the s...

Abandoned school building in ; seen from the southeast. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am slightly disappointed in the people of Buffalo right now. So many hard-working people walked the streets of the North district and spread the word about Sue Gillick, a candidate with all the right qualifications, a woman who would have fought hard for their schools and their kids, but they decided to go with the bartender anyway. Do not get me wrong, I am sure Jay McCarthy is a nice guy. How that qualifies him to make decisions about our schools is beyond me. Now the Buffalo school board will go without the strongest voice it had against the radical agenda of Carl Paladino, a profiteer out to line his pockets at the expense of our taxpayers and our children

Carl has pushed for years for more corporate run charter schools. I have a hard time understanding how anyone can think this is a good idea, yet there are so many out there that do. Oh, I can understand how people like Carl, who will personally gain from the development of these schools could think so. These old school land lords love an opportunity to have the public become private so they can charge rent. What I do not understand is why so many people think that is OK, or even more to the point, why they cannot see the obvious reason it at best will not fix or schools, and likely will ruin them.

For profit operations are just that: for profit. Their end goal will not be the education of our children, but the increasing of their bottom line. If it is a publicly traded corporation behind the charter school, they are legally bound to do nothing that will reduce the value of their stock, which means they will be fighting to increase the value of it, because that is the safest way to make sure it does not drop. How do they increase the value of their stock? Well, the best way to do it is to increase profit. Which gets us to our next question: how do you increase profit?

You do it one of two ways. You either increase the cost of your service on a regular basis, or you cut corners to decrease your overhead. All this means that either you will see not one dime in savings in our school budgets, or you will see services cut. You will see gigantic class sizes. You will see parents needing to buy resources like books. You will see less, possibly no, extra curricular activity. Eventually the only kids who succeed will be the ones with families who can afford to help them do so. With a dwindling middle class that will be fewer children. Social mobility, already a myth for the most part, will become the stuff of legend.

It boggles the mind that people cannot see these obvious facts. I know there is an awful lot of money spent on propaganda but the truth is pretty plain to see. The nature of the profit beast is simple, you must raise prices and/or reduce costs. Either one is too costly for the vast majority of us, but it is a price the privateers (and yeah, I think comparing them to pirates is fair) have us convinced we should pay.


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