Text of two minute presentation before the West Contra Costa Unified School Board. Comments are in reference to Item F-1 on the agenda, “1. Decision to Accept or Deny the Caliber Schools: High School Charter Petition, Proposed for West Contra Costa Unified School District.”
Last Saturday [October 15] the Board of Directors of the NAACP [at its 107th National Convention] ratified a resolution calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion.
The resolution states: “We are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the charter schools at least until such time as:
Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system.”
I am asking this Board to endorse this resolution.
Buzz words like “choice” and :competition” are often used by market fundamentalists to argue in favor of charter schools. They serve to confuse the issue.
I believe we can get a clearer picture of the relationship between charter and public schools if we re-frame the argument in the language of the biological sciences, specifically PARASITOLOGY.
“A PARASITE IS A PATHOGEN THAT SIMULTANEOUSLY INJURES AND DERIVES SUSTENANCE FROM ITS HOST.”
That is precisely what takes place when tax-generated public funds are diverted to charter schools. That is precisely what happens when the charter school industry imposes on our District a business model that is completely inappropriate to public education.
We DO NOT need to add another million dollars to the financial hemorrhage.
We do not need another High School. There are other concepts in economics such as “SOCIAL COST” and “ECONOMIES OF SCALE” that argue against charter school encroachment.
What we, community members, teachers, parents, School Board members and superintendent must do is refocus our attention and begin a thorough academic reform and take the lead in the civil rights struggle of our time, the struggle for free, high quality, fully and equitably funded public education for the 30 thousand children for whose education and training we are still legally responsible.
To this Board I say, act like the PUBLIC SERVANTS that you are, stop the expansion of charter schools, HEAL THE SOCIAL BODY that is our District and DO NOT allow the Goldman Sachs Gang to take over the FUTURE of our children.
[Video Courtesy of www.Laborvideo.org]