Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Charter schools are public schools; tomorrow's lobbyng effort at statehouse will be effort to educate adults on best way to educate children

A very important and giving man that it is now my privilege be working with told me a truth that I failed to realize:

Most people still believe a charter school is a private school.

So I need to backtrack and start at the beginning of this most important cause that will take me to the place I hate for the children I love. I'll be part of charter public school supporters on Capitol Hill to lobby for legislation to broaden student eligibility for these places of rescue.

Notice that I used the phrase charter public schools. That is what they are.

Your tax dollars follow the child to the school, which usually is a place of last hope because the regular public schools have failed this child and have set him or her on the path to early pregnancy, crime, welfare dependence and imprisonment. All those things will be more costly to you as a taxpayer and society as a better and safer place to live.

Charter public schools emphasize efficient use of the education dollar and new approaches to reach the child and cast him or her up academically and by behavior.

Charter public schools have much less administration at the top. The education bureaucracy in traditional public schools eat up so much of your tax dollar before it ever reaches the child.

But when we go to the statehouse, we face great opposition to what should be a no-brainer. That's because the education bureaucracy has strong special interest forces there to prevent needed change. And those special interest pool their union dues and member contributions to buy the best lobbyists.

I'll be on the Hill representing the sensational Smithson Craighead Academy, a public school that has the fifth highest achievement scores in Metro. And it is doing this with the children the traditional public schools do not want.

I fought for charter public schools earlier this decade with my column in The Tennessean. There was no law here to even allow this kind of school choice for children and their parents. We won, but the law was a weak one. Now it needs to be strengthened because charter public schools have proved themselves, and the education bureaucracy hates that.

And now so many more children need this kind of heroic help.

Please follow this blog to learn who we will need to fight at the statehouse to bring more change to public schools for children and more efficient use of money for taxpayers -- and to save you even more when these youngsters become adults with good jobs and bright futures.

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