Thomas Ultican is a teacher of physics and mathematics at a high school in California. The students in his school are 50% English language learners and 75% Title I (poor).


He writes here that the charter experiment has been a disaster for public schools. California was second in the nation to pass a charter law in 1992, and now 9% of the children are in charter schools. While the charter schools have a rich and powerful lobby, the public schools suffer from underfunding and overcrowding. The charters get to choose their students, and some charters are located in affluent communities, where they serve the children of the rich. This is very far from what charters were supposed to be when they were first proposed in 1988. Ultican writes that it is time to change the law in California and ban charters outright.


Ultican writes:


Today, twelve percent of all schools in California are charter schools with 9% of all state supported students attending charter schools. In these more than two decades; charter schools have enriched some people – have harmed public schools – have not improved publicly financed education – have increased segregation – have increased the cost of publicly financed education – have paid foreign based entities to operate schools in California – have generated massive fraud.


The California charter school experiment should be ended and these undemocratic publicly financed institutions should be carefully transitioned into the public schools system.