Tuesday, November 22, 2011

“There is no reliable evidence that for-profit (cyber) operators provide education that is effective, but there is no question that they are highly effective at turning public tax dollars into private gain."

Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

 

"There is no reliable evidence that for-profit (cyber) operators provide education that is effective, but there is no question that they are highly effective at turning public tax dollars into private gain.  For example, K12, Inc.'s CEO, during the recent recession, received compensation from "cyber" schools totaling over $2,400,000 per year in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  According to K12, Inc.'s own filings, other executives with the company managed to obtain annual compensation in 2010 ranging from $471,649 to $1,782,614 from their "cyber" school operation.
K12, Inc. can generate such outsized salaries for its executives because it and other operators have convinced some other states (Blogger's note: like Pennsylvania) to pay "cyber" schools the full per-student allotment of public money that is set aside for actual public schools.  Thus, in some states "cyber" school operators get thousands of tax dollars per student even though they do not have to pay for buildings, ball fields, actual classroom teachers, etc.  K12, Inc's student to teacher ratio is 50 to 1, one third the 15.7 to 1 ratio in Tenessee's public schools, yet K12, Inc. and other "cyber" schools often pass on no savings to school systems."

Tennessee Legislature Memo Regarding Cyber Schools

http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wtvf/PDF/MikeStewartlettertolawmakers.pdf

 

"However, the cost to the state is about five times higher (around $5000) than the cost for a parent enrolling a child outside a charter school. Obviously, there's much more money to be made by marketing through charter schools rather than directly to individual homeschooling families."

Cathy Duffy Reviews Blog

K12 online computer-based curriculum

Publisher: K12, Inc., Review last updated: course prices updated 2009

K12, Inc. was formed with an initial $10 million investment. To recoup that investment, K12, Inc. seems to have pinned its financial hopes on tapping into government funding through charter schools and vouchers. (Goldsborough, Margaret W., "A New Enterprise Joins Growing Community of Online Schools," New York Times on the Web, January 24, 2001 <http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/24/technology/24EDUCATION.html>). It's much easier to sell families on K12 if the state pays all the cost and families pay nothing. So K12 has already begun to tap into the charter school funding stream with contracts in Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, and Alaska. Charter schools offering K12 curriculum typically offer additional teacher supervision and computer equipment. However, the cost to the state is about five times higher (around $5000) than the cost for a parent enrolling a child outside a charter school. Obviously, there's much more money to be made by marketing through charter schools rather than directly to individual homeschooling families.

http://cathyduffyreviews.com/umbrella-programs/k12.htm#homeschool_price

 

PA Voters Show Powerful Support for Public Education; Majority Believe Public Education is Key to a Strong State Economy.  Poll shows voters believe state should provide more funding for public schools

Harrisburg, PA—(November 21, 2011)—The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) has released poll results that show Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly value public education, support an increase in state funding for the 500 school districts statewide, and support public school choices, while opposing the use of taxpayer funds for private school tuition. The polling, commissioned by EPLC, was conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, which is based in Harrisburg.

http://www.eplc.org/2011/11/pa-voters-show-powerful-support-for-public-education-majority-believe-public-education-is-key-to-a-strong-state-economy/

 

Districts will try ads to win students

By Daveen Rae Kurutz, MURRYSVILLE STAR
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Public school districts in Western Pennsylvania could start advertising to bring students back after more than a decade of losing them -- and millions of state tax dollars -- to charter schools.
Taxpayer money hasn't paid for advertising for traditional public schools, but cyber charter schools spend some taxpayer money to sponsor events and buy ads, Hippert said.
At PA Leadership Charter School -- a West Chester-based online public school with an office in Pittsburgh -- officials spend about $500,000 each year on advertising that ranges from direct mailings to TV commercials. The school, which enrolls about 2,300, courts students who wouldn't know it existed without advertising, said CEO James Hanak.

Read more: Districts will try ads to win students - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_768512.html#ixzz1eQULWm00

 

Bristol TownshipCharter school denied

Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 12:00 am
Phillyburbs.com By Chris English Staff Writer |
The Bristol Township school board Monday night voted 7-0 to deny a proposed charter school in the township.  The Excel Academy Charter School would have started as a kindergarten through fourth grade institution and would have gradually included all grades, said its two main advocates, James Jones and the Rev. Melvin Howard.

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times_news/charter-school-denied/article_ab37c295-dae7-5318-a304-59513cdd960e.html

 

OP-ED COLUMNIST

How About Better Parents?

New York Times By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, Published: November 19, 2011
IN recent years, we've been treated to reams of op-ed articles about how we need better teachers in our public schools and, if only the teachers' unions would go away, our kids would score like Singapore's on the big international tests. There's no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student's achievement, and we need to recruit, train and reward more such teachers. But here's what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents. Parents more focused on their children's education can also make a huge difference in a student's achievement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-about-better-parents.html?src=me&ref=general

 

 

THE EDUCATED REPORTER

COMMENTARY ON EDUCATION COVERAGE, WRITING AND A FEW OTHER THINGS

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2011

Private Money for Public Schools: A Good Read From the New Yorker

We hear a lot about the need for more community involvement in schools, and theNew Yorker has a thoughtful blog post on the influence of private money in public education. Writer Matthew McKnight looks at the support the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter school network receives from private donors such as the Walton Family Foundation.

http://www.educatedreporter.com/2011/11/private-money-for-public-schools-good.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

 

EPLC School Choices Forum on 11/29 in Harrisburg

Sponsored by The Education Policy and Leadership Center

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Hilton Harrisburg Hotel
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs043/1103584053062/archive/1108649292598.html

 

Franklin and Cumberland County Legislative Forum on Public Education

Thursday, December 1, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (ET), Shippensburg, PA

Co-sponsored by The Shippensburg University Teacher Education Department and Education Matters in the Cumberland Valley.

RSVP here: http://franklinandcumberlandcountylegislativeforum.eventbrite.com/

 

Video: School Vouchers and a Financial Literacy Update on Terry Madonna's Pennsylvania Newsmakers
LancasterOnline.com; Education segment runs from 4:27 to 13:00 of the video
This week's Pennsylvania Newsmakers with Terry Madonna features Scott Detrow of StateImpact PA, with a Marcellus Shale update, and Tom Gentzel, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, who discusses school reforms and school choice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4zrw3Olv2U

 

"our failing public schools"

Fast Facts: The success story of Pennsylvania public education

Written on October 6, 2011 by PSBA

http://standupforpubliceducation.org/2011/10/06/the-success-story-of-pennsylvania-public-education/

 


 

Use Education Voters PA website to contact your PA State Representatives today asking them to oppose taxpayer funded vouchers:

For more info/background -  PSBA's Tuition Voucher Issue Page

Lawrence A. Feinberg
Keystone State Education Coalition
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

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