The editorial in yesterday's Aurora Sentinel calls charter schools the "unwanted orphans" of the local school districts. All because the charter schools dared ask if their school's capital construction needs could be included in the Aurora Public Schools' bond and mill levy questions this year. The right of charter schools to be treated equally in these types of taxpayer-generated ballot questions is granted in statute by the State Legislature [C.R.S. 22-30.5-404 et. seq.].
The newspaper uses inflammatory language to argue that charter schools don't have any accountability and that absent accountability it would be "taxation without representation" to permit charter schools to receive mill levy or bond funds.
In enacting state law on this topic, legislators specifically said that their intent was not to supercede local control of school districts, but they wanted to encourage school districts to consider the capital construction needs of their charter schools by requiring them to invite charter schools into the discussion about a potential ballot question and that the charter school's needs would be fairly considered. Apparently, editors at the Aurora Sentinel are saying they know more about charter school state policy than the legislators elected to represent the public.
Moreover, it appears the editors have never read a charter school facility financing agreement or else they wouldn't say that for-profit charter management companies make money on failed charter schools. These companies, only a couple of which are considered "for-profit," take a loss if a charter school fails. Their vested interest is in ensuring success of the charter school and so the facility financial arrangement is designed to allow for initial startup costs before facility funds begin to flow to the management company.
Editors further argue that Aurora Public Schools shouldn't be spending taxpayer money on out-of-district students. Interesting that they didn't point out that APS receives a per-student amount from the Legislature each year for those students. Doesn't that cut both ways or should the district only receive funds when it's to their advantage?