Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gov. Phil Bryant: I haven't figured out how people make money off charter schools

If a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes a single quote is worth a political career of them.

Emily Wagster Pettus had a long sit down with Gov. Phil Bryant recently, and the transcript of the Q&A portion was published on the Sun Herald site on New Year's Day.  The interview concerned the upcoming legislative session, with topics ranging from economic development to immigration.  But it's the following exchange that should send shivers down the spine of Mississippians:
AP: People also wonder: Who's going to make money off charter schools?  
Bryant: "If there is money to be made in charter schools, I haven't figured out how that happens.
Considering that this man, as our governor, is pushing extremely hard for charter school legislation, one might think he would have at least been briefed on this issue.  Guess not.

So you can be more knowledgeable than our governor on the charter school issue, here's a list of stories to check out:


Jake McGuire said...

Did you get a tinfoil hat for Christmas or something? You know the proposed legislation is going to have an independent charter school authorizing board that will evaluate operators' credentials and performance... AND they'll be required to be non-profits. Have you been briefed, Matt?

Matt Eichelberger said...


The independent authorizing board approach has been tried elsewhere. Just because you call it "independent" doesn't mean anything in practice.

As for the non-profit nature of the charter companies, you don't think non-profit CEOs do their work for free, do you?

The stories I linked all concern non-profit charter schools. That's the only way the salaries are public. In the for-profit public schools, the public doesn't know the salaries.

Jake McGuire said...

If you honestly think those of us who support charter schools are on the payroll of giant corporations who are planning to profit off public school children, let's have a beer sometime... I'll be happy to share my experience as a public school teacher in Mississippi and what caused me to become a vocal charter school supporter.

Matt Eichelberger said...

Certainly not everyone who supports charter schools is on the payroll of the businesses who profit from them, Jake. But don't think for one second that those corporations aren't spending a ton of money to influence the way you think about them.

There's absolutely no doubt that many of our public schools are failing our children. It's just that charter schools isn't the answer. In fact, all they're going to do is drain money from the flat-broke existing schools. We don't need some corporation sidling up next to our schools at the same trough. There ain't enough hay to go around as it is.

Matt Eichelberger said...

Obviously I meant "charter schools aren't the answer." Lord, that was bad. Not enough coffee yet.