"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Money Saved from Rhee's School Closures to Open Charterized Catholic Schools

Back in January Chancellor Michelle Rhee argued for and got the closing of 23 DC Schools, based on the premise of saving taxpayers $23 million. Now it seems that Rhee will use $7.5 million of those saved dollars to bail out five Catholic schools in DC, which are now scheduled to open this Fall as "secular" charter schools.

No word yet about what their "charters" will be or how they entirely skipped the 12 to 15 month review process that is customary. No word either on how the application for funding just missed by four weeks the regular budget deadline, which, of course, would have put these questions on the table for debate. Is someone required to approve such takeovers, or is a note from the Chancellor enough? From WaPo:
The District will use a $7.5 million education reserve fund to pay for the seven former Catholic schools slated to reopen as secular charter schools next month, and it will be able to find more money if necessary, officials said this week.

The D.C. Council allocated $366 million in May for 63 charter schools as part of its fiscal 2009 budget. Financing for the Center City Public Charter Schools was omitted, officials said, because Center City's application was not approved by the charter school board until June 16.

The Catholic school conversions are unusual, they said, because most charters spend 12 to 15 months between approval and opening to find buildings and staff. Center City's seven campuses are ready to accept students. . . .

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