desks school stock classroom

Advocate file photo of school desks.

As a recent transplant to Baton Rouge from Los Angeles with a second-grader at Dufrocq Elementary, it's interesting to see the very beginning of the charter school resistance due to their ramifications that Los Angeles has lived through for a decade. I hope that parents and citizens become educated about the destructive nature that charters bring to the very concept of what is "public" and what is "private."

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Charters degrade public school systems because they are not truly part of the rest of the public school body. They operate as separate organisms that gain disproportionate advantage by creating their own "private" boards while gaming a funding system that takes from the existing community financial pool, thus harming the rest of our children because of their presence. The same chaos would result if different areas of the city were to use public funds to create and run their own police and fire forces to serve to the advantage of one area at the expense of the whole.

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More space would be needed to catalog the list of charter scams and failures that bedeviled not only Los Angeles but many cities across the country. This fall, Los Angeles recognized the tremendous collateral damage charters have caused and called for a moratorium on charter schools. Baton Rouge is not L.A., but perhaps if we just freed each public school and gave them all more autonomy to create the programs and pedagogy to serve the needs of their children, then there wouldn't be a need for "outside" charters.

Joshua Leibner

high school teacher

Baton Rouge