San Diego Explained: From Charter-Friendly to Charter Acquaintance
By: Catherine Green
Voice of San Diego
March 21, 2014
School board trustee John Lee Evans once called San Diego Unified “one of the most charter-friendly districts in the nation.”
And based on the numbers, he was right: From 2005 to 2012, charter students in the district jumped by about 40 percent
But all that’s about to change, thanks in part to the board’s decision to up the ante on tough requirements for charters to get funding from a $2.8 billion bond they helped get approved in 2012. The district has also been candid about making it harder to open a charter.
In this edition of San Diego Explained, NBC 7′s Catherine Garcia and Voice of San Diego reporter Mario Koran lay out the changing tides for San Diego charter schools.
Update: An earlier version of this post said San Diego Unified was second in the nation for charter school growth. That number came from a National Alliance for Public Charter Schools report. On March 26, the group said it had miscounted, and amended its report. According to the amended numbers, San Diego Unified ranks 18th for growth in charter school enrollment.
Catherine Green is deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handles daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.
Perhaps there have been some problems with charter schools that could have influenced SDUSD policies. I do seem to remember a couple of dozen tearful students and teachers pleading with SDUSD Board of Trustees a couple of weeks ago about conditions at a charter school.
Or perhaps they're cognizant of the schools around the country that have abruptly just gone out of business, leaving families in a lurch.
Or perhaps what's going on is part of broader policy change aimed at increasing the role of neighborhood schools.
We wouldn't know from this story, which just makes it seem like the big bad SDUSD Board is picking on them. (Oh, lookie! Did you see that union thug?)
I actually think charter schools have a role to play. Many of them provide unique and valuable educational experiences.
But come on.... Give us some depth.