Yet Again, Bernie is Right

Sanders is calling on a ban for for-profit charter schools and a halt to further charter school expansion.

I wholeheartedly approve.

Charters are unaccountable, and frequently corrupt, as well as being the darlings of Wall Street money:

As president, Bernie Sanders would support a ban on for-profit charter schools and a blanket moratorium on public funding for all new charters, the candidate announced in a speech on Saturday, throwing down a new gauntlet on the left in the Democratic debate over education reform.

The Vermont senator laid out a broad education agenda that seeks to address racial disparities on the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Sanders’s plan is quite ambitious, thought it lacks some important details.

He wants to triple federal Title I funding for schools that serve a large number of low-income students, set a national salary floor for teachers of $60,000, and provide universal school meals: breakfast, lunch, and snacks for every student year-round.

But his proposed prohibition on for-profit charter schools and temporary ban on government spending on new nonprofit charters is a foray into the most divisive piece of the education reform debate. Charter schools have been a source of debate for years between mainstream liberals who see charters as a promising alternative to the traditional public schools and the labor left that considers them an attack on teachers unions because charters are typically unorganized.


For existing charter schools, Sanders would propose that they be subject to the same oversight requirements as regular schools, that half of a charter school’s board members be parents and teachers, and that charters be required to disclose certain student and funding data.

Charter schools do not in the whole outperform public schools, and we have seen repeated examples of corruption and self-dealing, so ending for-profit chains, and placing a hold on expansion until appropriate oversight can be implemented is just basic good governance.

I would prefer to see them shut down completely, I think that they are primarily an attempt to loot, with a side order of union busting, but this is a good start.

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