To The Editor:
Charter schools “receive a billion dollars in taxpayer funds and we don’t know what’s going on,” notes City Councilman Daniel Dromm.How does the New York Charter School Center repond to this observation? With denial? With evidence? Neither. It’s CEO, James Merriman charges Dromm is the teacher union’s “attack dog.” Whether he is or not cannot be objectively ascertained and isn’t the point anyway.
What should be the point is whether there is any actual basis for what Dromm said. As it turns out, there is.
The Daily News, which by no stretch of the imagination could be called an “attack dog” for the teachers union, reported that an analysis done by state auditors since 2002 has revealed, in their words, “probable financial mismanagement in 95 percent of the charter schools examined.” The charter school folks have neither contradicted nor even expressed concern about this finding.
We must not treat charter schools as sacred cows as they are quite profane and more reminiscent of bull. For example, should a money manager who has lately contributed more than $400,000 to pro-charter groups be entrusted with the care of public pensions such as the $54 billion pension for civil employees?
According to State records, such an individual and his spouse also gave in excess of a half-million dollars to candidates and party committees.
Private school pushers, no less than public school promoters should worry about the sordid implications of potential evidence of charter school shenanigans. But the charter school disciples will always believe what they want to believe no matter what.