Charter schools often have the best intentions and offer a unique learning environment to kids who might have different needs than the average student. However, after working full time and as a substitute teacher for several of them in various parts of Phoenix, AZ and it’s surrounding cities, I realize that Bill and Linda Gates have only been scratching the surface of the public school arena.

The first school I worked at lacked much needed funding to pay for the new location. The principal and owner used the 301 K money (government funded bonus pay for teachers they felt had earned it) to cover the rest of the costs. Once they realized how illegal that was, they changed the contract to make it look as though they had lowered all the teacher’s pay and were supplementing it with the 301 K money.

I would also like to add that the school in question was an Art school which also advertised itself as a college preparatory school as well. A college preparatory school which had hired an uncertified undergrad to teach English and History combined because they couldn’t afford to hire a teacher to teach each subject. Neatly rolled up in a nice little package of a class entitled Humanities. Can you imagine trying to teach the entire span of Western Civilization from Ancient to Modern times, the major literature included, in the span of one year to a group of teenagers in less than five contact hours a week?

While not all charter schools have this problem, the real problem is that the government does not monitor what is happening in these places. Perhaps this is only in Arizona, but I seriously doubt that.

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