Last year a corporate, for-profit charter school management company (Charter Schools USA) tried to open a for-profit charter school near Gainesville. Hundreds of parents just like you stood up and said NO! … and Charter Schools USA got the message and ran away.
Parents Against Corporate Takeovers (PACT) is the group that coordinated the anti-charter movement in Gainesville. We know it won’t be the last time the for-profit education industry comes for the schools in Gainesville, and we know corporate monsters like Charter Schools USA are winning more often than they are losing across Florida. We’re asking you to join in the fight on a statewide basis. Electing better legislators and better school board members will be our primary focus. We believe public education is worth fighting for, and we’re going to help candidates who share that belief win. We want to elect legislators who believe teachers and parents are the people who make public education work. Legislators who will leave corporate fast-buck artists out of the equation. Can we count on you to become a member today?

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Money that would have been lost from our public schools every 10 years if Charter Schools USA had come to Alachua County. What is at risk in YOUR community?

Why we opposed the CSUSA School

Profiteering

While it is illegal to run for-profit charter schools, Charter School USA and other corporations like them get around this law by creating dummy non-profit entities that contract with for-profit corporations.  CSUSA charges high management fees and excessive lease payments.  In addition, it has its own affiliated companies to buy and lease school facilities, sell instructional materials like books or other school services.   It uses a complex scheme of payments and money transfers.  Their profits are concealed from public scrutiny.

Poor Oversight

Local school districts and parents have no say in the of the day-to-day operations of charters. Districts see summary financial statements.  They have no jurisdiction over charter personnel or management. If there is a problem with the principal, parents go to the charter board whose members live in other cities miles from Gainesville.  If parents are unhappy, the common refrain is: You are free to remove your child from the school.

Poor Quality

The National Association of Public Charter Schools reports “Despite consistent growth by charter schools in Florida, the schools have lagged on quality, diversity and innovation”. The CSUSA school proposal admits:  Achievement among CSUSA schools that serve a student population similar to ACS’s projected demographic is, on average, lower than both the state and Alachua County’s net average proficiency in math, science and social studies.  Palm Beach Schools filed suit against CSUSA for not being innovative.

What We Stand To Lose

Hurts Education

If approved the plan will remove an estimated $78 million from our traditional public schools every decade, with funds of approximately $6,335 per student going to CSUSA for 1,145 students, with an additional $618,000 per year in capital outlay funds for facilities that must be shared with CSUSA. Our district funds are already low, and there is a long list of unfunded projects.

Families Lose Control

As a for-profit charter school, CSUSA may take actions seen as beneficial to them, with no protection for parents. They are exempt from requiring an evidentiary hearing in expelling students. They also shut down, sometimes mid-year, if they don’t prove to be profitable. As a parent, there’s no protection from this for you or your child.

More Segregation

Charter schools like CSUSA further segregate communities, pulling Blacks, Whites, and Hispanic students further apart. By either focusing on high income or low income students they increase segregation. They also disproportionately expel students of color.

Failures Across The United States