Charter schools are worth consideringPublished 12:32am Sunday, March 18, 2012
All across Mississippi, in various struggling school districts, parents of school-age children are simply fed up.
Years of either sending their children to be educated in sub-par school districts or perhaps working two or more jobs to pay for private schooling have led to the push for an alternative choice.
Chances appear pretty good that a revamped charter schools bill may become law in Mississippi later this year.
The notion of charter schools seems to scare the heck out of local districts — including the Natchez-Adams School District.
Before the new charter schools bill is even finalized, public school leaders are already suggesting dire warnings about its consequences.
The creation of a new charter school would definitely raise taxes, public school leaders say.
It sounds like just a scare tactic.
Either that or it’s an admission that the public school district is incapable of scaling down its expenses to meet its revenues.
Sure, we realize that the district’s overhead is not as simple as some charter school proponents would like us all to believe.
But it’s also not correct to just assume charter schools are all evil and certain to raise taxes, either.
If a charter school pulled 10 percent of the public school district’s total enrollment, the public schools may not be able to cut out exactly 10 percent of its costs, but it might be able to cut out 5 to 8 percent. That may be enough to avoid a tax increase — if the public school district is willing to be flexible and work hard for the taxpayers, instead of just the perpetuity of the district’s own programs and structures.
Charter schools will not resolve all our state’s public education problems, but it’s an option, an option worth considering.