Why Charters Love “Public School”
Posted by Peter Greene: 04 Sep 2016
The question is up for pseudo-debate once again because of the National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases that charter schools are private corporations.
The decision is new, but the fact that charters are private businesses is not. While charter fans are trying to act shocked and surprised., I’m just going to go ahead and link, for the six-zillionth time, to that special occasion when Eva Moskowitz successfully took New York State to court claiming that they had no right to audit her private corporation. Charter operators have always claimed to be private corporations when it suits them.
Neal McClusky of the right-tilted Cato Institute expresses concern that this is part of union efforts to unionize charter schools. That’s understandably a concern, since many charter operators depend on at-will employees that can be hired, fired, and paid as the operator wishes. McClusky’s argument is that charters are public because some public entity has to give them the right to exist. I’m actually wondering if McClusky was badly quoted in the piece, because that seems like a sloppy argument for him– “given the right to exist by a public entity” includes every business that had to meet zoning requirements and every Wal-Mart that got its lot by having local government use eminent domain.
McClusky’s concern about the machinations of the teacher union may be misplaced. Some folks in the teaching biz are a bit leery of unionizing charter schools because that makes the union a stakeholder in that charter. Charter fans may well want to welcome an opportunity to co-opt the unions, even if it means they will have to offer their employees decent pay and working conditions.
Why are charter schools so attached to the word “public,” anyway?
Read the rest of the blog post to learn the answer: CURMUDGUCATION: Why Charters Love “Public School”