Charter Management Companies have been popping up everywhere in Metro Detroit.
Education has finally become for-profit and a business now.
Charter Management Companies are hired by the school board of directors to manage and oversee the school. They hire the HR company, they have their own payroll personnel and they make the decisions as it pertains to school leaders. In the world of Charter Management Companies, it is all about WHO you know. You don’t have to have one tenth of a clue if you know they right person.
To emphasize, many charter management companies are led by individuals who have NEVER set foot inside of the classroom to teach. They do not make any of the decisions that matter, they hire someone else who can. Oftentimes, these are individuals that they know or have heard of, and they “hope” the person can do the job with fidelity.
One thing that Charter Management Companies DO NOT care about is stability, or high teacher AND administrator turnover rates. They also tend to seek out teachers who will fill the role for cheap, offer excellent professional development opportunities and then hold the purse strings so tight, that there is no money for things like” textbooks, buses for field tripsEd, substitute teachers or professional development.
The average CEO or Superintendent of a charter management company makes $250,000 -$350,000 per year. I have worked under CEO’s that have made their spouses, siblings, cousins and parents integral members of the staff with salaries that pay over $100,000 a year without doing the work to substantiate that amount of pay. Meanwhile, the students do not receive what they need in order to be successful. Programs are cut, and if you make a fuss about it, the management will fire you.
Did I mention all employees are “At Will”? This means that they can fire you, without giving you a reason, and not give you the pay that you have ALREADY earned.
Educators who want to serve the children of Detroit have two options.
- Work for Detroit Public Schools and place yourself at the mercy of a fickle budget, with little to no job security, with salary cuts every few years.
- Work for a Charter School and place yourself at the mercy of individuals who could care less about the education of students, but want to make money off of them.
To distract us, they try to put Charter and Public Schools against each other. Everyone is scrambling to get students to enroll at their schools. Glitzy commercials and catchy billboards of the kids with the million dollar smiles with pristine uniforms.
More students= More Money… at least $7K a head.
If your school has 500 students.. that is 3.5M. This does not count the donations that Charter Schools get from wealthy benefactors, or Organizations like the Skillman Foundation, or the money from the casinos and alumni that Detroit Public Schools receives….
But our students, who range 2-3 grade levels behind, cannot get a textbook to take home or a lunch that does not have mold on the bread?
AS A RESULT
Parents lower, middle, and upper middle-class families have vacated. That’s Right! They have either moved to the suburbs or left Michigan altogether. Those parents who could afford to give their children a better opportunity are gone.
The population in Detroit has decreased from 1.8M to 700,000.
So What Is The Solution?
The power does not lie with the educators who remain. All of the power resides with the PARENTS.
Things will not change until the Parents say ENOUGH of this Bullshit. All of the power is with the parents. If 50% of the parents showed up to a meeting at the school, or threatened to dis-enroll their child… watch how quickly the “powers that be” would move to accommodate the parents. Without the children, the school cannot run, it cannot function.
There is no loyalty amongst schools either. Any charter school will happily overstuff their classrooms to take students. After all, this is how administrators receive bonuses.
Parents you have ALL the POWER. No school official is going to tell you this. However, I am letting you in on the secret. School Administration, whether it be public or charter FEAR the parents. It is time to stop talking. Demand a better education for your child. Fight for their education! Trust me, the $$$ is there to make it happen right here in Detroit!
If you do not believe me, ask your child’s school… or ANY school for a copy of their budget. By law, they have to comply… they will do anything you ask to not have to do so.
Share this with a Parent.