I’ve blogged before about charter-haters’ false dichotomy of private sector funding and public sector funding. Here’s the mythology: charter schools rely on private funding and, thus, exist to satisfy craven profit-mongering investors; traditional public schools rely on public funding and, thus, are pure in intent.
That’s nonsense, of course. Both charters and traditional publics rely on a combination of public and private funds, but this funding canard fuels much antipathy towards charter schools and, in fact, got NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio into trouble. (Some details here.)
From the Wall St. Journal:
There is a “strong private-sector element” in their funding, [de Blasio] said. The mayor agreed with host Ebro Darden that “a lot” of charter schools are funded by big business: “Oh yeah, a lot of them are funded by very wealthy Wall Street folks and others.”
The Mayor might want to look at Andy Smarick’s drill-down of NYC Public Schools’ reliance on corporate money for funding and advocacy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; in fact, there’s something right about rich people and corporations supporting public education.
Certainly, there are problems with some charter schools, just as there are problems with some traditional schools. We need accountability, not biased swipes.