In the midst of the financial crisis, teachers across the country were trying to figure out how to survive in a rapidly changing economy.
At one point, the state of Michigan shut down public schools in favor of charters, which have proven to be a hit with parents.
In New York City, where charter schools are thriving, the schools reopened this year with no warning or apology.
“I have to tell you, this is a very hard time for our schools,” says Nancy Hahn, the executive director of the New York State Charter Schools Association.
“We’ve got to figure this out.
It’s a crisis.”
In the spring, Hahn sent out a letter to school principals, asking them to be prepared to shut down schools in the event of a financial crisis.
But many principals did not believe it was possible.
In fact, they were alarmed by a new trend of charter schools opening early to enroll low-income students.
“Our teachers are having to rely on a lot of free resources and that’s a big problem,” says Mark Kranz, the former director of charter management at the Manhattan district where K-12 education is managed.
“So much of what we do is being done at the level of parents, teachers, and the principals, but we are all very concerned.”
Kranjans letter has been shared on social media and prompted a series of angry responses from school administrators, some of whom accused him of trying to “sell” their schools.
The district had been struggling financially, which meant that its students had less time to learn, but teachers and principals still felt the need to respond to the letter.
“The way we feel about charter schools is that we’re going to keep them open as long as it is not a financial threat to us,” says Kranjan.
“But if it is, we are not going to open them.”
As a result, schools in New York’s struggling neighborhoods are being shut down earlier than they were a few years ago.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the district is in the middle of a massive financial crisis: its budget is in tatters and teachers are scrambling to find work.
“You can’t have this kind of disruption,” says Michael Deacon, the president of the Newark Public Schools, where he has worked since 2011.
A shortage of teachers, combined with low enrollment and the fact many schools are struggling to make ends meet, have made it difficult for districts to keep students from leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. “
There’s not enough money to be able to open these schools.”
A shortage of teachers, combined with low enrollment and the fact many schools are struggling to make ends meet, have made it difficult for districts to keep students from leaving for better opportunities elsewhere.
In response to the crisis, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to close the state’s charter schools in response to “emergency needs” within the school system.
The governor also announced plans to expand charter schools throughout the state, with the hope that this will increase the supply of new teachers and help schools reopen.
But for some parents, there is no immediate solution.
In February, the New Jersey Department of Education announced that it would begin to allow charter schools to reopen in the state by the end of May.
But some parents still are not feeling comfortable with the change.
“As a parent, I am very disappointed in the changes that have been made,” says Donna Stanczyk, a New Jersey mother of four.
“Some of my children are still in charter schools.
They have no idea what is going on, and they don’t know why they are in charter school.”
For many families, charter schools have provided a quick solution to finding a job and paying for school, but there are some parents who have found a more immediate solution, like that of the city of Dearborn, Michigan.
“What happened in Michigan is that people were afraid to go back to the school,” says Stanczy.
“It’s like they’re trying to hide it.
So, they don`t want to be known as a sanctuary city, because that’s just not safe.”
While the city has seen a significant drop in students over the past few years, it still has a large student population, including many students who attend schools in Dearborn’s district.
“When we started to see the problems that were happening, we really had to get a lot more involved,” says Deacon.
“Because we were trying so hard to figure it out.”
It was not until February that schools in Detroit reopened, but it wasn’t until September that schools across the city opened.
“A lot of parents are like, ‘Well, we’re doing OK in Dearbres.
But I still want to know why you shut down my school,'” says Deakon.
“They have this idea that this is their city.
They’re trying so very hard.
They don’t want to lose their kids.”
The reason the city shut down some of its charter schools, however, was