Mountain View currently does not have a Charter School listed with the California Department of Education. As all parents in Mountain View know, the educational crisis in our local schools has grown in the last two years. Funding has been cut, schools have laid off teachers and support staff, and services are diminished.
As we try to solve our problem many are looking to Charter Schools as a way to save our children’s education. Here are some facts about Charter Schools in California:
–A Charter School is a public school.
–A Charter School is funded with public money.
–A Charter School can not charge tuition.
–A Charter School must follow the laws of California just as any public school.
–Some Charter Schools are operated by a “for profit” organization.
–Of the 42 Charter Schools in Santa Clara County, almost all are in San Jose.
–Charter Schools require a high level of parent participation.
–Charter Schools rely heavily on fundraising.
–Most teachers work longer hours, receive a reduced salary, and have few if any benefits at a Charter School.
–The proof of the success of Charter Schools is unreliable as research is minimal and largely unproven with standard methods of research.
Frederick Hess, education policy director at the American Enterprise Institute commented on the lack of acceptance of Charter Schools–“The most successful charter ventures to date have been boutique-style operations that are extraordinarily reliant on talent and passion, philanthropic funding, and exhausting work schedules. The means of bringing them to scale have been elusive.”
This elusive solution to make all public schools into Charter Schools in Mountain View is reason to consider if this is a viable solution to our current educational crisis.