Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a newsletter for people who think public education should be truly, absolutely, authentically public—produced by In the Public Interest.
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As small businesses suffer, charter schools are double dipping in coronavirus aid. From the New York Times: “Charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, are securing coronavirus relief meant for businesses even as they also benefit from public school aid.”
Journalist Erica Green writes about In the Public Interest’s new report, coauthored by Parents United for Public Schools, on charter schools double dipping by applying for loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Congress intended the program to keep businesses and nonprofits from shedding jobs and closing their doors during the pandemic. However, parents, activists, and researchers have identified at least $50 million in forgivable loans flowing to the school.
The report finds that nearly $19 million has been awarded to charter schools in the Oakland Unified School District, with 70 percent of the district’s 43 charter schools accepting the funding. “We have money for small businesses, we have money for schools. And when they’re using both of these sources for the same need, it’s doing a real disservice to the community,” said In the Public Interest Senior Policy Advisor Clare Crawford. The New York Times
Miss In the Public Interest’s webinar on online education? Last Thursday In the Public Interest, the National Education Policy Center, the National Superintendents Roundtable, the Network for Public Education, Local Progress, the Schott Foundation, and the Shanker Institute hosted a webinar on the limitations and possibilities of online learning in public education in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Watch the recording
“The results are in for remote learning: It didn’t work.” The Wall Street Journal reports: “The pandemic forced schools into a crash course in online education. Problems piled up quickly. Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., “have the largest percentage of unconnected students, ranging from 26% to 28%, more than the national average of about 20%.” The Wall Street Journal
Private management of Florida public schools. Eight struggling schools in Florida’s Hillsborough County will be overseen by only one consulting firm this school year. “The one-year contract will pay MGT about $4.1 million. Tampa-based MGT, which is run by former legislator Trey Traviesa, takes over from Phalen Leadership Academy, an Indiana company that was hired in 2018.” redefinED
Hire more black teachers now. An analysis of the data from Journey 4 Justice Alliance and the #WeChoose Coalition, shows that in at least six major cities, while there’s a growing population of students of color, many of them will not see a teacher who looks likes them. The gap between black students and white teachers is even larger in charter schools, which tend to serve more black students and hire fewer black teachers. Black Lives Matter At School