Cross-posted at The G Bitch Spot
Schools have big budgets and get millions of dollars from the federal government and state governments, an amount of money that can tempt the most sincere and well-meaning person. It can seem so easy to cut a teeny corner there and plump this account over here. Or to hand out enormous contracts to 1-month old companies. Just like high-stakes standardized testing linked to punishment [closing a school is a punishment, firing principals is punishment, firing teachers is punishment, tearing down a school is punishment] can lead adults to cheat in any way they think they can get away with.
The issue has stirred anxiety among parents since the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, moved to suspend the school pending an investigation. Pelican board members have publicly disputed BESE’s authority to do so.
And sometimes charters do not see themselves as public entities but as “free” entities, free of any scrutiny or law or public expectation. And too often—too often because it should be rare—those meant to supervise and assess have had so much privatization Kool-Aid they forget that privatized does not mean perfected.
If BESE had known about the attempted bribe and Folwell Dunbar’s recommendation not to renew the charter and why—Kevin Guitterrez’s and Chris Meyer‘s roles in this mess have disappeared from subsequent stories as if it is a trivial detail—there would not be a crisis 2 weeks before school starts for 600 or so students.