By Doug Cunningham
A new report from MGT of America shows Los Angeles public schools have lost more than $591 million this year alone. Donald Cohen, Executive Director of In The Public Interest, says it's a staggering figure and if doesn't change immediately "the entire educational system in Los Angeles will be in a financial crisis.”
[Donald Cohen]: "This is the beginning of a conversation nationwide to say you can't create a parallel school system that destroys the existing one and expect every child to be educated."
Cohen says this study should be replicated nationwide to measure the true impact of charter schools on public education.
[Donald Cohen]: "What people around the country hopefully will do, one is replicated this study in their own district - to put dollars and cents and real educational impact on this rapid growth of charter schools. Because charter schools have dramatically increased across the country not by accident, by the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars by people who want to destroy the public school system and privatize it."
[Arlene Inouye]: ""Under the name of school choice our public schools have been under attack. For example in California the charter school laws have unfairly advantaged charter schools. There is no accountability, no financial accountability. And so there is not the oversight. And also the contribution for the education ends up falling more on the public schools because they do not pay their share of what is needed for the education of the charter school students.
Also the charter school students when they leave they drain resources from the public schools because they take those numbers in the daily attendance money from the state away from the public schools. "
Inouye says educators, parents and community allies want to stop the erosion of financing for public schools and instead to preserve strong, well-funded, curriculum rich public schools because they believe that is the best solution to ensure all kids are well-educated.
[Arlene Inouye]: "So we're saying that our public schools need and deserve to be fully funded. They need music and art, and they need electives, smaller classes, rich academic curriculums."