APS – Hostile to Charter Schools – Part 2 of 5

[This is a continuation of a five part series on APS’s position on charter schools] 

The record is clear – Superintendent Davis and the APS administration are absolutely hostile to charter schools and the approval of any new ones. I do not include the Board of Education as their record is mixed. However, the administration’s record is not – it is pure hostility at every turn.

As I reported last year, during the discussion on the expansion of Drew Charter School – which Superintendent Davis opposed – he said,

“There is no question that as a system, we have not worked well with the Charter Schools in our district. We have not supported them as well as we should and we have not learned from their strengths and their accomplishments.”

Why not?

The answer is simple – APS is hostile to charter schools and has opposed them nearly every time. Look at their actions.

  1. Last year APS withheld $2.8 million in local revenue funding that was due to the charter schools. After a judicial hearing on the lawsuit filed by the charter schools, the judge ruled against APS. APS appealed and the appellate judge was just as skeptical of APS’s position. While the appeal ruling has not been issued yet, it is likely that the charter school’s position will be upheld and the payments will have to be made by APS.
  2. The withholding of funds from the charter schools had real consequences. As a result of the withholding of funds, Tech High School was unable to continue operating and folded. In addition to financial difficulties, Tech High School – that was ranked by US News & World Report as a “Best High School” – also had terrible facilities in which to operate. Did APS work with them and help Tech find better facilities in a system with significant overcapacity? The simple answer is no.
  3. Over the last year, at least seven new charter petitions have been submitted to the administration. Five have been denied outright, one has been deferred for additional information and Superintendent Davis is recommending that the seventh be denied.

As I said, hostility towards charter schools at every turn. When it comes to charter school petitions – the administration’s answer is a reflexive NO! Now what was the question again?

One Response to APS – Hostile to Charter Schools – Part 2 of 5

  1. JR Garcia says:

    The withholding of the pension funds were a factor, but not the reason Tech High closed. Enrollment at Tech High kept dropping over the years, to a point of not being sustainable to operate. Our family being one of them, after a horrible 9th grade experience. Definitely not a “Best High School”!

    APS did offer Tech High other school sites, which Tech High chose not to accept – one being a much larger and nice site, now being utilized by another APS charter school.

    I’m for school choice, and local governance, but want to make it clear that APS has been the most charter friendly district, indicative by the many LEA approved charter schools.

    JR Garcia – Founding Family of “Neighborhood Charter School”

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