I don't support Betsy DeVos threatening to withhold funding for schools that don't open and opt for distance learning in stead...but this line from this article made me so angry...
"But make no mistake, if schools don’t reopen, DeVos is going to hand over public school tax dollars to parents to educate children any way they want. What options will they have? Lousy charters? Online programs that have a known failure rate?"
While there are some "lousy charters" just like there aresome "lousy public schools," there are also many excellent charters who are doing a great job with kids. And that "known failure rate" of online programs is compared to regular in person schooling...we have no idea how the distance learning programs brick and mortar schools are cooking up during the summer will compare to what the charters have previously done, and have no reason to assume they will do better.
And when many schools went to distance learning this year who did they go to for advice about how to do it? Charter schools that had already been doing it! And yeah, those hastily planned models schools quickly moved to weren't great, but that's because they were formed without much time to set them up correctly (crisis schooling, not real distance learning, right?). But they wouldn't have been better trying to "invent the wheel" from scratch, I'm certain of that.
It would make so much sense to let as many students as possible transfer to distance learning charters that have experience. But in our state, our state just passed a funding plan that would base all school funding on last year's enrollment, therefor cutting off all chances for charters to expand to meet demand. And the demand is high. Parents, understandably, were flocking to distance learning charters and independent learning charters. Even before this charters were putting some families on a waiting list (cause they had some limits on how much they can expand). But now new families who had already been accepted to these charters were sent letters saying...sorry, we can't take you because the funding we expected to be there was pulled.
Meanwhile in LA teachers unions actually made a moratorium on charters one of their demands they are threatening to strike over. I support them striking due to covid safety issues and paid sick leave, but demanding a moratorium on charters is just a slap to the face to their fellow educators in charter schools (oh, and we ALREADY had a moratorium on new non-classroom charters schools until 2022...LOVELY. That's working out SO WELL, isn't it).
Not as bad as Texas educational organizations threatening to deny funding to their own schools if they choose to do distance learning, but it's still a poor choice.