Remember the confident claims of the charter champions? Money doesn’t matter, they insisted. What matters is good management and getting rid of unions. Free of unions and cumbersome rules, charter schools would do better, for less, they self-assuredly predicted.
Now they’re singing a different tune. The charter-touting Fordham Foundation, headed by Reagan administration assistant secretary of education Chester Finn, is whining that charter schools get less money than traditional public schools.
It’s not fair, pouts Checker. We want our fair share. Never mind that charter schools do not even pretend to educate students with special needs whose high costs inflate the average per-pupil expenditure in city schools. They still want what the public schools spend.
Then, according to today’s Times, Checker gets really mad. If New York City can sue, so can we, he proclaims, stamping his foot in frustrated envy. Never mind that the right has consistently scorned school finance equity suits. Conservative academics flocked to New York to argue at the CFE case that the city doesn’t need any more money. Just look at the parochial schools that cost half as much, they argued. (Not so hard when you pay your teachers pennies.) The problem, they concluded unanimously, is union salaries and union work rules.
So now the shoe is on the other foot, and the charter schools (almost all non-union) are crying poverty. Next we’ll hear them blame their less-than-stellar performance on under-financing. Welcome to the club, Checker.