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A billion-dollar theft by Republicans

The Star’s editorial last Sunday was softer than the Pillsbury doughboy. The subject was Basis Charter schools. This outfit has attracted a lot of attention as allegedly being the very best in the country, yada, yada, yada.

Nowhere in the editorial or the three-part series upon which it was based was it pointed out that the charter school legislation represents the Republican effort to undermine, if not destroy, public education: The state of Arizona gives more than a billion dollars every year to corporate thieves posing as educators. This is a massive raid on the state treasury while the Republicans continue to squeeze university budgets. It is beyond outrageous. It is criminal, state-sanctioned theft, a massive scam.

There is no accountability for the state’s spending on charter schools. Charters spend how they please on what they please. If you want to know how the money is spent, ask and you will be told essentially “fuck you.” The school owners own the property financed by your tax money. Nothing bought with public money — charter school buildings, real estate or other assets — belongs to the public.

According the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Arizona provides $5,366 per pupil per year to public schools. It gives $6,669 to charter schools. Per pupil. Per year. It provides nearly $5 billion to public schools and a little under $1.1 billion to (unaccountable) charter schools.

 But it isn’t just the money. One wonders what the racial composition of Basis North high school. What are the entrance requirements? There’s a reason it scores high. Could it be its selection of none-but-the-best students? What are the teacher requirements? None of this is the public’s business. It’s only the public’s money.

The Legislature’s Republicans intended that the owners of charter schools should get rich and lord it over district schools. They hate public education that much. It’s beyond belief and sanity. But it has gone on so long and continues to do so, that obviously no one gives a flying shit.

 

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