Charter schools are a type of public school that is typically autonomous from the rest of the school district or private in nature. They range from the small, nonprofit institutions that are part of a public school district, with their own budget, that perform virtually homeschooling functions, providing teaching parents with professional teacher oversight, testing and free or cheap materials, to large privately operated brick-and-mortar, for-profit chains that span many states and serve large numbers of students – disproportionately black and Hispanic whose parents do not participate in teaching. These for-profit institutions only represent 15% of the total.
The first charter school opened in 1992, and they have been controversial since then. They have provided a healthier educational environment for minorities than typical public schools, where racial bias and discrimination are often prevalent. Since 1992, charter schools enjoyed bipartisan support from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans.
But this Democrat support has been fading for a few years – among white Dems – while black and Hispanic Democrats still favor them as much as ever. This division by race is significant and will be an important aspect in the presidential elections of 2020. Representative groups like the NAACP and Hispanic groups will be voicing their opposition to the failing support coming from the Big 3 Democrat candidates – Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and form V.P. Joe Biden – all white.
Teachers who work in charter schools teach for the same reasons as other teachers – a desire to impart knowledge to children and serve their communities in meaningful ways. Charter Schools provide an important resource to minority children who are typically underserved in mainstream public schools and the criticism by Democrats is a bit confusing and muddled. Only time will tell what the next phase of charter school-dom will be.