Robert Cane, the executive director of Friends for Choice in Urban Schools, had an editorial in the Examiner yesterday congratulating the Mayor for providing a stable revenue source for the $3,000 a student charter school facility allotment. Never mind that DCPS may spend double this amount each year on school modernization. Moreover, when it comes to operations the Levy Study estimated that annually the traditional system receives between $72 million and $127 million more than charters even though by law there is supposed to be funding equity through the Uniform Per Pupil Funding Formula.
There was not one word in the piece about Chancellor Kaya Henderson's plan to keep the 15 school buildings in her portfolio that she is about to shutter. It is a crazy decision, especially because in the past it has been shown that when DCPS closes sites students are more than twice as likely to end up in a charter compared to a regular school.
So now it's another budget year and FOCUS will ask charter school leaders to leave their pupils and march down to the Wilson Building so they can beg once again that their revenue is not reduced. I say enough is enough.
FOCUS was founded on the idea that a high quality education was a civil right. Now that long-time chairman Malcolm Peabody is stepping down perhaps the organization has lost some of its drive. But Martin Luther King knew that it took more than words to change America. It's time for action and one place to start is in the courts.