Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Washington Post Article Correction 2 

While the Washington Post did run a correction to their story regarding Tom Nida's vote on the Doar School's expansion I should have also pressed them to clarify this statement:

Doar's rent was now so high -- $679,000 the first year and then escalating to more than $1 million, records show -- that the school could "probably purchase the facility for what is being paid monthly in lease payments," the charter credit enhancement committee noted in October 2006.

There are only a couple of problems with what these reporters wrote. First, by saying that the rent was now so high, they seem to be implying that our school mismanaged our expenses by paying too much to lease our facility. But our rent has always been below the amount the school receives in per student facility payments and we are provided with these dollars so that we can lease space.

The other thing these reporters got wrong is their comment from the credit enhancement committee that at the amount of rent we pay we could have purchased the building. Believe me if we had the money we would have bought the property immediately. But charter schools are not given a capital fund when they go into business. They are dependent on their per pupil dollars to pay their teachers and to rent space.

This is the problem when you have reporters writing stories about the charter school movement who don't understand the charter school facility issue and have never before covered this topic.

Thankfully, the editors of the Post correctly identify the space problems for charters in an editorial appearing today.

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