Forbes by Peter Greene, July 21, 2021
The House Appropriations Committee has caused a stir with one tiny paragraph in its 198-page health, labor and education spending bill. SEC. 314. None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be awarded to a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school.
The presence of for-profit operators in the charter school sector has long been a concern for critics, with almost all states outlawing a charter school strictly run for profit. But charter school operators have long worked a variety of loopholes, keeping the sector a highly profitable one, and most of those loopholes involve a non-profit charter school hiring a for-profit business. We are not talking about contracting services like school buses or cafeteria management; these kinds of side functions are frequently contracted out both in charter and public schools, but they are not the school’s primary activities. The bill is clear and specific about targeting for-profit entities that “operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school.”
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