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Charter Schools Expanded, Contracted, Funded, De-Funded

Chicago Daily Observer 31 July 2009 No Comment

Lots of Charter School news this week, with contradictory policies coming down from both Washington DC and Springfield. Here is a primer:

The WSJ notes that the Federal Government will use $4.35 Billion in funding to “lure” the public school monopoly to provide better education, including charter schools, in a Race to the Top Program. The Journal also notes that Sec. Duncan, Pres. Obama and Sen. Durbin squashed a successful school voucher program in Washington DC.

Gov. Quinn signed a bill doubling the number of Charter Schools, making Illinois eligible for the Federal Program, but slipping in some extra regulation into the Charters, as well as an additional bill providing for Card-Check unionization (sort of a quick non-democratic way to force a union into a business) for Charter Schools. The New York Times sees through this ploy, and pretty much approves of it. One step forward, two steps backward.

Dan Proft deciphers Mayor Daley’s wandering rhetoric, and thinks the verbal tea leaves are telling us the Mayor is in favor of more competition in education before all the students flee to the suburbs. So either the Mayor is in favor of improving education, or getting a chunk of the above federal grant. Proft also gives Arne Duncan a good scolding for his miserable record on school vouchers. WIFR-Rockford notices that while the State has allowed an increase in the number of Charter Schools, the funding for Charter Schools has also been reduced.

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools keeps tabs here Anne Leary acts as guest ringmaster at the education circus at Backyard Conservative, keeping the unruly contained.

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