Education monopolists

Wilmington StarNews (presumably publisher Robert Gruber and editorialist Tricia Vance) has requested financial records of locally operating Charter Day School, Inc. Last month they filed a lawsuit to get “salaries and bonuses for headmasters and other employees” from the management. They have stated their reasons in editorials. And if they don’t get their way—“line-item accountability”—they want the State government of North Carolina to “Cancel the charters” or “sever all ties” with Baker Mitchell and his Roger Bacon Academy that provides support to Charter Day School.

StarNews profiteers classify Mitchell’s organization “for profit,” with a sneer from their pen. Activist statists constantly seek ways to create the impression that profit-motivated people are devious and don’t deserve their incomes. In their view making “unreasonable profit”—presuming that they can define what’s reasonable.

Of course, in this case, charter schools are publicly subsidized and must disclose certain information. They come under the authority of that centralized North Carolina State bureaucracy: the Department of Public Instruction; and other government groups. Several representatives for the charter school group have responded to requests for financial records saying, “we gave the information we had,” but they decline to give out some specific financial data.

In my opinion, this extraordinary press effort harks of an expose (I won’t call it a “witch-hunt”). To government-school supporters, charters threaten their favorite monopoly and, naturally, the flood of funds that prop it up. Worse, for their cause, most charter schools perform better with far less spending per pupil than the pure-government institutions. The most feared words to education monopolists are prominently found on the Roger Bacon Academy website: “we believe in freedom of choice when it comes to public education.”

If the StarNews gets all the data they demand about charter schools we can be sure that it will be used to compare salaries and bonuses. But I predict that the press won’t also report comparative performance results and cost per student. It’s my guess, but we’ll see. Meanwhile, readers can find out more about the Roger Bacon Academy and Baker Mitchell’s rebuttal to the StarNews demands in the website below.




About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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