In the just concluded trial about vouchers in Louisiana, a state education department official said that a student with a voucher is a public school student, no matter what school she attends. The judge could not follow the logic. He ruled that the state could not take funds away from public schools to pay for vouchers.
Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters in New York City noticed that charter advocates pull the same trick, with the same logic. They change their rationale to fit the need of the moment.
At first, the charters were to save minority kids from failing schools. But now they are moving into relatively affluent areas in New York City where schools are not failing.
She writes, referring to the gentrified portions of districts 2, 3 and 15:
“The reason DOE is putting charter elementary schools in high schools in D2, the lower part of D3 and in the Cobble Hill section of D15 is that their public elementary schools are already so overcrowded so that there is NO space for them, even by DOE standards.”
“The charter school lobby first explained the rationale for their schools as based on providing more “options” to students in low-performing districts, then moved on to justifying them by saying they would create more “diverse” schools in mixed or gentrifying areas, and also now argue that they create more options for middle class parents who are potentially shut out of their zoned schools because of overcrowding, that there are waiting lists for Kindergarten.”
“The rationales keep expanding….”