Public vs. Charter Schools Essay

Words: 2473
Pages: 10

Public Schools vs. Charter Schools
The first day of school is a rite of passage for most children. The step from home or day care to school is huge: they are a big kid now. However, sometimes the local Public School, especially in rural or economically challenged areas, can be an uncertain, questionable and scary place, and yet parents are expected to entrust them with their five or six year old child. Some years ago, when my daughter was ready to enter school, she and I had just such an experience, and we began to seriously search for an alternative school for her to attend. What we discovered was a Charter School: a possible solution for parents, enabling them to take more control of their child’s education. For my daughter and
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Parent participation, however, is totally up to the individual parents. Entrance into a Public School is always guaranteed, education up to a certain age is mandated by law, meaning there is always a spot for your child at the Public School.
One of the biggest political issues between Charter Schools and Public Schools is budget; both are funded from the same educational funds. What is allocated to the Charter School is taken from the Public School. Many Charter Schools are also soliciting funds from private funding, hedge funds, and large foundations such as Gates, Walton, Broad and Ohlin, which provides the Charter School with even more resources that cannot be matched in the Public Schools (Fabricant 19-20). Yet another budget problem is that Public Schools are required to meet the needs of special education students, which means they must fund these programs and this puts an additional strain on their budgets. Charter Schools may choose to have special education programs, but are not required to do so. This is a highly debated and controversial topic amongst educators today: most professional educators feel that Public Schools are greatly disadvantaged by the Charter Schools. How can they possibly compete for higher student achievement when they have no resources to match an otherwise comparable Charter School?
Charter Schools were conceived in 1991 when Minnesota wrote the first