I’ve been having a back and forth with Kilroy over at his blog. It all started with this thought in his post entitled: Pennsylvania moves towards school voucher.
I feel the Delaware legislators should consider legislation the provides school vouchers for students of failed charter schools if the Delaware Department of Education doesn’t secure seats in another charter school or traditional school with a rating of Superior or Commendable with direct transportation provided to students.
I shot off this comment in response to another commenter:
Arthur, I agree that children of a failed charter shouldn’t be given vouchers – sorry if I wasn’t clear. They should be returned to their feeder school. If the parent doesn’t want them to attend their feeder school, then the parent can either find another charter or pay tuition for a private school.
Which sparked this post about my comment. Kilroy holds his ground.
The comments suggest that if a student leaves a failing traditional public school for a charter school and if that charter school fails and is closed by the state, the student should just go back to their feeder school or find another charter. But I support a child in this case receives a school voucher equaling the per student cost of the charter school ordered closed. Call it victim compensation.
Here’s my problem with Kilroy’s “victim compensation” voucher idea: He limits the victims. He is saying that the family whose child is attending a charter that closes has demonstrated the desire to leave/escape a public school, therefore that child deserves a voucher.
I wondered about the children who applied to the charter but didn’t get in? Didn’t they demonstrate the same desire? Should we give them vouchers, as well? If not, why not?
And what about the child with no advocate willing, or able, to complete a charter application? Would they not be considered victims? Shouldn’t any child in a failing school be considered a victim? And if we do consider them victims, then wouldn’t they be eligible for vouchers and direct transportation?
Go back to his first post where he calls for legislation. He is saying that it is the DOE’s responsibility to secure seats for the children of a failed Charter at “another charter school or traditional school with a rating of superior or commendable…”
Seriously? I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have a problem with these families being moved to the front of the Choice line. How is it fair that people who have opted out of the public school system be given preferential treatment over those who have stayed in the system? I might start attending school board meetings to witness the fireworks. And the public school parents who end up being bumped down the list would have a strong grievance.
Another commenter already figured out a way to game Kilroy’s idea:
So if this comes to pass, let’s start “PlanToFail Academy.” It won’t cost much since we can rent by the month, and it’s not like we need books or anything. We can have all our kids into top schools by this time next year!
Funny, but true.
And another commenter, Observer, clears up the issue by placing the responsibility where is belongs.
I have an idea… Let’s make a law/rule that says existing charter schools & any new charter school must develop a plan for what happens to their students if they fail academically and/or financially. This should be a requirement. They want to exist, so they need to come up with the fallback plan. This puts the responsibility for charter school success & failure where it belongs – on the people that started them. The state shouldn’t need to come up with or pay for what happens to the children of the failed charter schools. Charter schools took them out of the traditional system, they should document a plan of how to reintegrate them if something goes wrong. If they refuse to come up with the plan, then they should be closed.
Observer for the win.
In a lot of ways Charters remind me of Too Big To Fail. Everyone is all about the free market until there’s trouble. And I’m beginning to wonder if the public (especially the Charter parent) understands how Charters are supposed to work. Perhaps every parent enrolling their child in a Charter school needs to sign a form stating they understand that they are leaving the public school system for an experimental system and if the school closes they are on their own.
Many parents have experienced this exact scenario in cases of the closing of Catholic schools. In fact, according to Kilroy’s logic perhaps these Catholic school children should have received vouchers since the DOE didn’t secure seats in another charter school or traditional school with a rating of Superior or Commendable with direct transportation provided to students.
Sorry to pick on you, Kilroy, but you’re way off base on this one. I still adore you, tho!