Letter to the Editor

Hello To the Editor,

In ref to the article published in todays newspaper pertaining to charter schools seeking taxpayer funding subsidies for teacher pay increases and for school security enhancements please note the following information provided below.

I do not support the tax payer funding for the operation of charter schools and if these school administrators are truly concerned about the lower wages they are currently paying their teachers, vs the teachers employed in the public school, well as for security enhancements that, are also much needed in these schools ( as well as in the private schools) let them make the necessary budget reallocations from their annual greedy corporate profits.

The teachers currently employed at the charter and / or private schools always have the option to voluntarily resign from their current employment with the Charter schools, apply and then transfer over to the public schools which provides their union employees with higher wages and retirement benefits.

If all of the school administrators at all public schools throughout the State were doing their jobs and being held accountable by the STATE EDUCATION GOVERNING BOARD for major existing deficiencies that, for years previously existed, especially in Miami Dade without their oversight or intervention ever occurring there would be NO NEED to have created and implemented Charter schools as a hybrid option.

These charter schools are currently siphoning millions of dollars of operating tax payer funds every year from the public schools system districts and have created another costly layer of duplication of educational services that, are simply not needed which are being funded by the resident taxpayer property owners many retirees living on fixed modest incomes.

Secondly, if the local public schools are or were failing as what was previously and unfortunately occurring in  many of the schools in the Miami Dade Public School district as soon as the incompetent previous superintendent left and the newly appointed Superintendent Carvalo was appointed gradual improvements began to occur in the Miami Dade school system.  The student test grade and school scores of numerous F & D rated schools were improved and it is my understanding that, there are currently no public schools within the Miami Dade school district with these previous dismal grade scores.

Third, not only are these charter for profit schools are siphoning millions of tax payer funds from the public schools but they are also siphoning exceptional gifted students as well from the public schools system to fill their classrooms which are being subsidized by the resident taxpayers many with no children enrolled in the public schools.

Fourth, to make matter worse the majority of the charter schools throughout the State are being operated as for profit corporations and since they began to operate I have thus far not seen 1 public charter for profit school publicly disclose or demonstrate their operational financial documents which if are non profit entities why are they not being transparent with their annual operational costs.

Obviously, it must be a lucrative business operating these types of schools which offers great financial rewards with either no major financial investments or ( very nominal) since every year numerous additional charter schools open for business located within close proximity to public schools that, are operating under their max student capacity under the disguise that, they are providing additional educational choices for the students and parents.

Fifth, If this is the intent, then let those parents that, wish to send their children to charter schools pay for their educational costs out of their own pockets just like the thousands of parents that, voluntarily opt to send their children to private schools while at the same time paying costly property taxes to the public schools without receiving any annual tax rebate incentives / benefits from either the local school boards or the IRS which to me represents “Taxation without representation comes to mind !!!

Please note that, until all of these aforementioned issues are hopefully eventually someday addressed and satisfactorily resolved equitably, by our elected legislators the only charter schools that, I would ever support, would be those ( very limited numbers) that, are NOT for profit corporations and for those students which have “special educational needs” where as I feel they could do much better in smaller group size classes than in a traditional public school classroom with 30 or 40 or perhaps even more students.

In addition, another special exception or consideration would be that, the current public schools in the district area are operating at over their max student capacity ratio or that, there is a remote distance factor to a public school facility and the local public school district was either financially unable or unwilling to do so and as an alternate solution a non profit charter school was willing and able to step up and do so in a short timeframe in order to address and resolve this problem.

Thank you for your time.

Mike Arias

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