An old school in Louisburg, MN (
by Dan Burns
Jan 3, 2024, 8:30 AM

St. Cloud’s school board told it like it is about charters, and nothing’s happening

They did so back in August.

School leaders say they’re tired of losing money to charter schools that prey on their enrollment and then return kids to district schools who often barely meet state reading and math requirements.

Because of this, the St. Cloud Area school district is asking the state for better accountability over charter schools. It also wants to be free from transportation requirements for charters that cost the district $1 million a year.

I looked around for a while this morning, and apparently since then nothing’s happened. The DFL-controlled legislature may look into some things, this upcoming session, but I have a strong feeling that it won’t be prioritized and that little if anything will come of it. That is, the failed charter movement won’t even begin to be properly dealt with, here in Minnesota. (As always I emphasize that nothing herein is meant as any kind of attack on the actual teachers and staff working in charters.) On the other hand, apparently the members of the St. Cloud school board haven’t been subjected to any relentless barrage of harassment and threats from wingnuts, either.

This is from something I wrote here a while ago.

The real problem that right-wingers have with public schools is that we are getting results. Among other things, they’re turning out young people who are knowledgeable and willing and able to reason from fact. Such people are too, in a word, intelligent, to buy into right-wing imbecile nonsense.

I do think, though, that it’s important to understand that not everyone who backs the school deform movement – meaning, among other things, further expansion of charters and vouchers – is a greedhead, power junkie, and/or war pig, or is employed by them among their vast kennel of whimpering, groveling propagandist curs, including in elected office. I know from my own experience that many are regular folks who are good parents, spouses, colleagues, community members, and all that. They’re just messed up in their politics and worldviews, mostly because they were raised that way. And they are genuinely (if wholly irrationally) confused and scared at trends they’ve seen in recent decades. In particular, at their churches emptying out. Like it or not that’s a big part of what those of us who oppose the undermining and privatization of education in this country are up against, and it’s not easy to overcome. I don’t know of any easy ways, in any case.

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