It is National Charter School Week, President Obama issued a proclamation in their honor (did he forget National Teacher Appreciation Week?), and here is the best piece yet on what a sham industry this is.

 

Peter Greene gives sound advice here on how to score big in the charter industry. 

 

It gets funnier as he goes on, so I am only posting the beginning. You have to read the whole thing to get to the best parts!

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Peter Greene writes:

 

Diversify!

Not the school– your portfolio. Set up multiple companies. Create a holding company that owns the building, and charge the school rent and facilities fees. Create a school management company, and hire yourself to run your school. Form your own custodial contracting company. Write your own textbooks, and then sell them to yourself. Buy a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter and set yourself up as a lunch concession with ten dollar sandwiches.

Don’t Overlook the Obvious

“Non-profit” just means “not wasting money by throwing it away on stockholders.” Taking money hand over fist that you can’t call profit? Just put it all in a big wheelbarrow and pay it to yourself as a salary. There’s no legal limit to what you can be paid as the charter school operator. The only limits to your salary are the limits set by your own sense of shame. If you have no shame, then ka-ching, my friend. Ka. Ching.

Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Have a fundraiser. When you wave schools and children at people, they fork over money like crazy, whether you actually need it or not. The only way it could work any better would be if you found a way to work in the American flag and puppies.

Students Are Marketing Tools

Students have a job at your charter, and that’s to make your charter look good and marketable. If they won’t do the job, fire them. If they aren’t for sure going to graduate, fire them before senior year (100% graduation rate makes great ad copy). If they are going to create bad press for disciplinary reasons, fire them.

Students Are Also The Revenue Stream

The other function of students is to bring money in while not costing any more than is absolutely necessary. Never take students with special needs (unless you can use them to make the school look good without incurring extra costs). If a student will require extra disciplinary or academic intervention, fire him.

Always remember, however, that students need to be fired during Firing Season– late enough to hold onto the money they bring, but early enough that they won’t hurt your numbers.