Uh-Oh! Financial Trouble At Delaware Charter Schools Network?

In a recent email to parents, the Delaware Charter Schools Network asked parents to donate money to keep them going. They have been around for well over a decade now and they have never tried to raise funds like this to my knowledge. They normally receive funds from the Delaware charter schools that send annual dues and grants from other non-profits like the Rodel Foundation or the Longwood Foundation.

As we end the week, we begin something new! As the only Charter Support Organization in Delaware, the Delaware Charter Schools Network advocates for and supports all of our schools – but as I have told you all before, we cannot do it alone. We need support too. To that end, today we are launching our first-ever crowdfunding campaign! Our goal is to raise a total of $20,000 to help us with programming that we provide.

Because it is our first campaign, we thought it might be easier to break this into milestones – and our first is to raise $5,000 in the first week. Would you consider becoming one of our first supporters to help make it happen?

While $20,000 doesn’t seem like a ton of money for a non-profit, I have to wonder what the sudden need is for extra money? Did the rent go up at 100 W. 10th St. in Wilmington? Did they lose funding from one of their grants? Are some charter schools deciding not to pay their dues?  Did their lobbying costs go up?

On the website for this campaign, it talks about how DCSN holds the Public School Choice Expo each year up in New Castle County. It appears they will have two in New Castle County, one in Kent County, and one in Sussex County this year as well.  The campaign, hosted by a company called Funderbolt, isn’t listed on the DCSN website which I found rather odd.  I would think they would put a link to it on there as well if they need this money so bad.  Even more odd, for a crowd-funding organization devoted to raising funds for schools, they can’t even spell the word “philanthropy” right.

To date, the campaign received three donations totaling $75.00.

While it is certainly legal for DCSN to hold this kind of campaign, and other organizations like the Delaware PTA rely on parent dues for their existence, this kind of outreach is unprecedented. Is this a sign that the charter world in Delaware is struggling?  Or did Kendall Massett see the cash-cow that is Basis Charter Schools in Arizona where they ask parents for $1,500 a year to “support teachers”?

A Note For Parents (Especially Charter School Parents)

I wrote the following on the Smyrna Clayton Residents Facebook page earlier today.  I dared to write a post about teacher attrition at Providence Creek Academy which led to the usual onslaught by parents whose kids either attend the school or used to.  Or their HR Director who likes to answer questions with a kernel of truth but when asked about the total number of teachers who have been fired over the summer, she refuses to respond but continues to like comments on the thread.  Or the guy who thinks posting memes instead of coming up with his own words lends him some type of credibility and street cred.  I’ve learned, when it comes to charter schools in this state, it is easier for parents to ignore lies than to come out of their comfort zone and face the truth.  It is sad.  In any event, this is what I wrote:

 I find it hysterical that so many are more than ready to believe things I write about the state and the Delaware DOE but refuse to accept the fact there could be corruption at the schools their child attends. I get that parents make a choice to send their child to a school their kid attends. I respect that choice. But when I shed some light on things that go on in those schools (usually charters), parents get up in arms and want to say I am off base, or I am wrong, or I have some personal grudge against the leader, or so on and so on. In the meantime, there is ZERO transparency coming from the school about the transgressions, teachers are leaving the school in droves, but as long as THEIR kid is doing okay, all is well. In the meantime, ALL of us are paying taxes for all these schools and no one seems to care that their hard-earned money is being used for personal purchases. Sorry, I will never subscribe to the belief that standardized test scores show whether a kid is getting a good education. I will never support that if any teacher questions anything they are ripe for firing. You come at me from the perspective of a parent, and I get that. But I’m looking at things from a much bigger picture. Sorry if that annoys you, but I guarantee you that if you don’t open your eyes and demand transparency now you will be left holding the bag when it comes to your kids. I am looking out for your kids believe it or not. You don’t have to like my style or approach, but I do ask that you begin to open your eyes that not everything is what it seems.