Cashing in on Kids

Charter advocates debate impact of local control

From the Tampa Tribune:   
TAMPA – Who’s in charge, and where they are, have emerged as points of debate in a bid to open a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base — and in the broader debate about accountability in the growing charter school industry.    On one side are those who believe charter schools, operated with taxpayer money but independent of local school districts, are most effective when governed by a local board with local members. On the other are those who say a board half a state away works just fine as long it has quality members who show a passion for education.    Questions about governance arose last month when the Hillsborough County School Board denied an application to open a charter school this fall at MacDill serving kindergarten through eighth-grade students in military families — like nearly a dozen charter schools operating at bases across the country....    An out-of-town nonprofit board of directors would have made decisions for the school, with input from a local advisory council of MacDill parents and business and military leaders. The for-profit Charter Schools USA, one of the biggest charter school management companies in the country, would carry out day-to-day operations. Read more.