Diane Ravitch has this from Rep. Mike Sells, 38th Legislative District. It is all the things that some of us knew were going on (and probably going on.) The last paragraph - on the House debate and all those amendments? Watching the action, you could tell that at least some of it was prearranged because that's how smug and dismissive some of the Republicans were. (emphasis mine)
Just say no, Governor.
What is not mentioned here, is the proponents literally
disappearing when it comes to full funding for the public schools.
Despite their protestation during the regular session that they believed
that the funding should take place, they are nowhere to be found or
even commenting much on blogs other than bragging about their coup. The
22 highly paid lobbyists brought in cleared the halls the day after the
vote and are nowhere to be seen on the funding of public schools issue.
The bragging by proponents of spending on two six figure ad buys
has not translated over to helping the public schools. You know big
money was being spent when Strategies 360 lobbyists were outside the
door plunking for a vote along with the usual ‘astroturf’ groups.
A number of us raised amendments on the charter school bill that
were turned down. Rep. Drew Hansen suggested temporary funding for the
current 8 [charters] until we could figure out the funding issues. That
was a no.
I proposed that charter schools use the same Teacher/Principal
Evaluation Programs that we passed in 2010 for the public schools, if
we believed in the importance of teacher quality. (You can find roll
calls on many of these amendments) That was a no.
Suggestions to make
the governance more transparent and open were also turned down, which I
believe will only add to the unconstitutionality of the new bill.
Only those that had pre-acceptance by charter school proponents
seemed to make it through out of the 27 amendments on the House floor.
Even proposing that charter school board members file public disclosure
forms like other appointed public officials do was at first opposed on
the House floor, but actually made it through, when opponents realized
that appointed Board members in this state do file them already in other
We are now in special session with the supplemental budget, and
it has been complicated by the millions slated for charter schools. No
more funding is pointed toward settling the court ordered funding for
the public schools, and we are facing possible cuts due to a so-called
Rep. Mike Sells, 38th Legislative District