Deskin said she does not believe in the expansion of charters into rural areas. All of the charters are public charters and are held to state and federal mandates, just like any other school in the state.
“We have charters that are only in the inner city, and that’s what charters were intended for,” she said.
Herron read from a State Department of Education bulletin that he said could be found online.
“’Charter schools are public schools that are allowed greater flexibility for greater accountability.’ For example, and I’ve studied this and checked it, charter schools are not required to adhere to the teacher and leader effectiveness standards.” Herron said, then indicated to Deskin as he continued. “And one of the candidates here today, her school is not doing that.”
Holmes discussed the American Legislature Exchange Council, which he said is funded by millionaires whose mission is to destroy public schools and replace them with charter schools. He said he is not against choosing to attend charter schools but against charter schools taking funding away from public education.
4. Per pupil funding has continually been reduced for the past five years. Do you believe our state schools are adequately funded? If yes, why? If no, what would you do to increase per pupil funding?
Hofmeister said this past year, she was appalled at the lack of preparation she saw in education advocates before the legislature.
“We must have an advocate in the State Department of Education who will go before the legislature and address our needs,” Hofmeister said.
Cox said he was ready to fight to increase per pupil funding.
“We’ve got to get out there and fight. I tell you what, superintendents and administrators are sometimes our worst problem. They cut us. We fix it. They cut us again. We fix it. Right now, we’re at a point that we can’t fix it anymore. We have to fix that stream of money back.”