Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a weekly email newsletter for people fed up with the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.

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Will Biden stop federal funding of school resegregation in North Carolina? Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, writes in the Washington Post:

“In 2018, the federal Charter Schools Program awarded a grant of $26.6 million to North Carolina to support ‘high-quality schools focused on meeting the needs of educationally disadvantaged students.’

Thirty of the 42 charter schools that to date have received CSP grants via the North Carolina Department of Education have reported demographic information. Of those schools, more than one-third (11) have significant overrepresentation of White students or a significant underrepresentation of Black students compared with the population of the public school district in which they are located.”

The Biden administration recently proposed spending $440 million on the Charter Schools Program, the same as in fiscal 2021. The Washington Post

“I spent a year and a half at a ‘no-excuses’ charter school.” Joanne W. Golann, assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University, writes, “To better understand what happens at charter schools – and as a sociologist who focuses on education – I spent a year and a half at a particular type of urban charter school that takes a ‘no-excuses’ approach toward education … Because teachers constantly narrated expectations for behavior and scanned classrooms for compliance, students felt as if they were always under surveillance.” The Conversation

Gaming the system in Florida. A second charter school run by a Central Florida nonprofit has been accused of trying to boost state funding by wrongly documenting that children with disabilities needed more intensive services than they actually did. Orlando Sentinel

What’s happening in Iowa? Shawgi Tell documents how school privatizers and their political representatives are being “relentless in their efforts to restructure [Iowa] along neoliberal lines so as to restrict democracy and funnel more public funds into private hands.” Dissident Voice

Self-dealing in Utah. After an investigation by KUTV, the Utah State Charter School Board found numerous transactions by Vanguard Academy that were directed to relatives of the school’s administration, many without a competitive bidding process. KUTV

Former leader of Memphis charter school indicted for theft. Investigators say Dr. Tamika Carwell-Richmond, former executive director of the Legacy Academy, withdrew money from the school’s bank account without documentation and falsified invoices that she submitted to the Tennessee Department of Education for reimbursement. WMC5

How we’re fighting back

Teachers at high profile Chicago charter school authorize strike. Chicago’s Urban Prep is a charter school known for its 100 percent college acceptance rate among seniors. But its staff say they are underpaid and face poor working conditions. Now they’re doing something about it. WBEZ

Colocation thwarted. Under pressure from teachers, students and parents, the Chicago Public Schools system has rejected the proposed relocation of a charter high school to Albany Park, “a Northwest Side neighborhood where families and staff at a district-run high school worried the controversial move could hurt their enrollment.” Chicago Sun-Times

Investing in schools builds communities. In the Public Interest’s Jeremy Mohler writes, “Schools following [the] community school strategy have been some of the real success stories both before and during the pandemic.” The Progressive

Photo by NSPA & ACP.

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