07 April 2007

Majority Party Still Owned by Union

Minnesota Democrats: Making sure you have no choice in K-12 education since . . . well, forever.
(S)ome senators (are) itching to put the brakes on charter expansion, worried that the new schools are hurting regular public school enrollment. They point to a state finance report that identifies charters as one of the state’s fastest-growing expenses.

Which is, of course, rubbish. Publicly-financed schools of all types - traditional or charter - get paid a certain amount of money for every day every child is in school. Except that charter schools get a little less of it; charter schools don’t get their parent districts’ supplemental appropriation proceeds, for example. So keeping a kid in a charter school for a given day - or year - costs the state the state’s taxpayers less than keeping the kid in a traditional public school.

It is true that growth has been rapid; the number of charter students has risen from 10,000 in 2001 to 23,700 today. But that growth has been driven by interest and demand. Let me digress a moment here; that is a very curious turn of phrase. Of course the growth is triggered by interest and demand! The big question - why is there such “interest” and “demand”? And why does the DFL feel the need to choke that “interest and demand” off?
This is just more evidence that the teachers' union's interest is not in educating students, they are only interested in full employment for union teachers. This is the union that opposed charter schools from the start, opposes vouchers for private schools, and elements of the union sought to criminalize home schooling. They have opposed every conceivable alternative to Government/Union Schools. Even the StarTrib's editorial, notoriously loyal to Government Schools, came out against the cap.

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