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Charter schools are not inferior

December 13, 2017
North Fort Myers Neighbor

To the editor:

I started reading the opinion piece by Mr. Mark Castellano and first wondered "Who IS this guy?" As I read on, he made it clear that he is really unhappy with the loss of power at the school board level and the allocation of state education dollars to charter schools.

He infers that the charter schools are inferior to the public schools railing against everything from the "certification" of educators (read union membership) to the quality of construction.

The low quality of education provided by the public schools in Florida is well known. To suggest that public schools, staffed by "certified" (union) teachers, are superior to charter schools is pure baloney.

I've been involved with the permitting and construction of a charter school. The break they get is they get to use the same zoning and building codes as the public schools. Those codes have been streamlined to accommodate the construction of much-needed schools.

He states that the results of this bill "will result in districts being forced to cut sorely needed student services" citing full-day Pre-K and kindergarten as some of those sorely needed services. Those programs are simply publicly-funded day care - not a student service but a service to the parents.

He rails against the provisions regarding testing and, especially teacher evaluation. Of course he does.

Why do school districts need (more) money to figure out how students are doing? They get report cards with grades reported therein.

He wants the money for teacher salaries, benefits and pensions.

Why? I figured it out at the end. He's the president of the Teachers Association of Lee County. Well, that explains it!

James G. McCulla

St. James City



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