The Jan. 7 news article “Board delays ‘negative’ charter schools report” was factually correct but oddly interpreted.
It said “(Charters) are not required to offer student transportation or provide lunch to poor students. Many charters enroll students from more than one county.” But the fact is that charters are not allowed to provide transport or lunch, because they receive no state appropriations to do so. Those are subsidies, not “requirements,” and charters are denied that opportunity.
That’s why charters cost only 70 percent as much to operate per student. The regular state schools receive enormous taxpayer subsidies for buses and lunch rooms. And that is why charters are so amazing. Parents are willing to pay for lunch out of their own pockets, and to organize transport on their own time, sometime traveling many miles, across a county line, to attend a charter.
I think that tells us just how bad the state-run school system must be. Now, the lack of buses, and the lack of subsidized meals, may make it hard to attract low-income students. But it is bizarre to blame charters for that, when it was the state, not the charters, that has chose not to provide those services.
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