Monday, October 25, 2010

Freedom (Funded with Tax Dollars) Isn't Free

We need charter schools, the thought goes, to allow experimentation. To get rid of silly, onerous regulations. To provide choice. How's that working in practice down in Utah?
The State Charter School Board needs to polish its practices to more effectively regulate Utah’s growing number of charter schools, according to a legislative audit released Thursday.

The report highlights the board’s handling last year of financial struggles at Beehive Science and Technology Academy in Holladay. The board voted to revoke Beehive’s charter but later reversed that decision because of its own “ambiguous standards” for charter finances, the audit states.

The report recommends the board establish and apply clear financial standards for all charter schools. The board also needs to clarify procedures for disciplinary actions and school closures.

“We agree with the legislative auditor that it is important to have clear policies for financial management and oversight in place so that all charter schools are held to consistent standards,” Beehive principal Yavuz Durmus said via e-mail. “With [the charter board’s] cooperation, we have decreased overhead expenses and increased our enrollment this school year, placing us in a sound financial position.”
This is my concern with charter schools: that we'll set up a two-tiered system with state schools that have to follow legislative whims and chartered schools that don't. If the goal is deregulation, the legislature can do that. Snide remark, start by defunding the PESB.

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