Just like state’s public schools, charter schools receive funding through the same funding formula and resources. This creates issues as charter schools take funding away from public schools and if a charter school fails, they can just pick up and leave.
American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia President Fred Albert joined the AWF Union Podcast to explain why charter schools are damaging to public schools.
No appetite for charter schools
Albert started off his interview discussing the effectiveness of charter schools. He stated that they work no better than public schools, but if they fail, they essentially have defunded a public school in the process. He stated that West Virginia really has no appetite for charter schools, but people are aware of the possible negatives that come with charter schools.
Charter schools receive funding through the same formula as public schools do which means the little amount of money allocated for schools is divided up even more. Albert said that one of the biggest risks with charter schools is their potential to fail and if they were to fail, they would pull out of the city, leaving behind all of the kids that were enrolled. Those kids would then have to enroll into local public schools, which lost money due to the charter school.
This vicious cycle can be harmful to the school systems in that district.
Support for teachers
Albert then discussed how teachers have been navigating the pandemic. In person instruction has resumed at schools in West Virginia and the people who made it happen feel under-appreciated. The AFT-WV worked tirelessly to make sure that there were protections put in place for the teachers, staff and students so that everyone can go about their day safely. Law makers in West Virginia, however, have been pushing anti-union legislation and the teachers feel like it is a slap in the face, considering they are fighting for protections for themselves, staff, and students during a pandemic.
Lastly, Albert discussed the need to attract more younger teachers to schools in West Virginia. He said that the West Virginia teachers are aging and getting younger teachers into the system is refreshing, and very helpful.