Monday, July 07, 2008

Cash is King?

Proving that their goal isn't actually the education of their children and that Cash is King the Memphis Commission ....well, I'll let Smart City tell it:

In a vote that was unanimous in its political extortion, the Board of Commissioners jacked up the lease on the KIPP DIAMOND Academy from $50,000 a year to just under $300,000 a year. The circular logic, pandering rhetoric and political opportunism as symbolized by the educational malpractice of Dr. Jeff Warren at that meeting were nothing short of stupefying.
Welcome to Memphis new Superintendent of Schools Kriner Cash.

Metro Nashville Public Schools have never been very welcoming to our own KIPP Academy (or charter schools generally). While on the BOE I objected to the condition of the building KIPP was offered by MNPS and expressed my opinion that MNPS, as landlord, should do more. I was pretty quickly shut down by fellow BOE member Kathy Nevill who insisted it was a standard commercial lease. Clearly, in her mind, that was the end of our responsibility to those children. I found that shocking. The mindset at MNPS has been that these charter schools, PUBLIC schools, are red-headed step-children and deserve the back of our hand for daring to buck the bureaucratic system, the unions, the usual constraints that the BOE has wrapped our schools in. The next year KIPP had to suddenly deal with food and bussing costs. AND, let's not forget that former Superintendent Pedro Garcia was only to happy to snatch those KIPP kids back when their education had vastly improved.

Nonsense like this proves we're not putting children first. It's nonsense like this that drives parents from the government school system. It's nonsense like this that drives taxpayers to close their wallets. We had a more vigorous debate over the 'deregulation' of cable TV in this state than we've had over the government school monopoly. Sadly, I believe more people are concerned about their cable TV than their local schools. Hey, maybe it's because they actually pay that cable bill themselves and have some choice in what they get. Hmmmm....

Hat tip: Ben Cunningham

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