Will Jay Hansen and the School Board Protect Public Education, or Advance the DeVos/Trump Agenda?
At the school board meeting on August 17, 2017, three organizations announced that on September 8 they would be returning with petitions to open four new independent charter schools in our district. Two proposed charters are from Amethod Public Schools, one from Gateway Community Charters, and one from Urban Charter Schools Collective.
That this flurry of petitions is occurring during the last half of Mr. Hansen’s term as president of the school board may just be a coincidence. But Mr. Hansen was strongly supported with at least $31,000 in donations from the California Charter Schools Association in his last school board race, as reported in the Sacramento Bee (see here). Mr. Hansen also spoke in support of Michelle Rhee as the Secretary of Education in a Trump Administration (see here) because she shares his “California values.”
Expanding independent charter schools is a strong plank of the attack on public education being advanced by Donald Trump and his controversial education secretary Betsy DeVos.
Expanding the number of independent charters threatens the financial stability of the District. Every student who leaves a district school for an independent charter costs the District approximately $10,000 in lost ADA. The affect on Sac City is even harder than Elk Grove and San Juan, for example, since Sac City receives more than $800 more in ADA than those two districts because of our demographics and diversity of our student population.
In the next several weeks, Mr. Hansen and his board colleagues will have the opportunity to demonstrate that they are truly committed to protecting public education. Let’s hope they are willing to put the well-being of Sac City students ahead of their own political ambitions.