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LAmom

S/O California State Standards

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I had asked a few questions on this previous post about why people even bother with charter schools. I didn't know that you get money!!!!!!!!

 

SO, my question is: Do many Christians use the charter schools? Do you find it difficult to implement what you would like to use? Like, I use MFW and will use TOG. I bet I couldn't if I belonged to a charter school? Is that correct?

 

I am so bummed finding out about this financial help. And it can be used for extracurricular activities!!! I have 4 kids! This would be so nice. I don't really want to answer to the public school/government though. :confused:

 

Any input would be so helpful.

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I did for a while. I used a combo of secular and Christian materials. The Christian materials I used were not paid for by the charter, and any references to Christianity were not allowed in any reporting.

 

I had to agree to state and progress testing annually, and to reporting and work samples. Reporting included a description of what DD was studying, delivered verbally or in writing each month. Work samples were one piece of work in each major subject area per semester. I believe the subject areas were language arts, math, social studies, science, PE, art or music, and some sort of life skill item. Additionally I or my DD had to meet with the ES monthly.

 

I found that this worked out best if I used the funds for classes or experiences rather than for books or other hard items, which need to be returned, consumed, or otherwise accounted for. I used the same ES all the way through, for the 4 years or so that we did this. I liked her, and requested her back again so that we would have continuity.

 

I have to say, this could be a pretty intimidating process. I looked at it like, they are working for me, and I will follow their rules but if they push for control I will quit. I never threatened that, but I think that I seemed strong enough to do that. When DD was young I didn't include her in the ES meetings, because I wanted them as a resource for me to ask for help with things, not for the ES to ask her questions. When she got older, though, I used to ask the ES to spend our hour long visit talking about writing with her or helping her do some editing or proofreading. It was good to get this assistance from time to time, as it gave DD another POV. In order to free up the meeting time for this, I would type out a short report before our meetings and just give it to the ES in lieu of a discussion of what we had been doing. These reports were valuable to me later in documenting DD's work for her application to a Catholic high school, and also they are fun to read!

 

I think that charters can be good or really really controlling. I don't think that they should be required, and would lobby hard against that. I don't think they should be demonized, either, as they sometimes are.

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Thank you. That was helpful.

 

So I could use TOG or MFW but it just wouldn't be paid for? They don't have a "you may only use this or this" list of curricula?

 

I would probably not like someone asking questions, etc. How much does the state give per year/per child?

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I had asked a few questions on this previous post about why people even bother with charter schools. I didn't know that you get money!!!!!!!!

You only get money with home-based charter schools. There are charter schools which have actual campuses, which look like "regular" schools. There was one at one time in the SF Bay area, I believe, that was a military school.:001_huh:

 

SO, my question is: Do many Christians use the charter schools?

Yes.

Do you find it difficult to implement what you would like to use? Like, I use MFW and will use TOG. I bet I couldn't if I belonged to a charter school? Is that correct?

This is a hot, hot, hot topic.

 

According to the California constitution, no, it isn't legal to use any religious materials, for any subject, regardless of who pays for them. Many charter school facilitators and parents have found ways to work around that, but when it comes right down to it, no, it isn't legal.

 

I am so bummed finding out about this financial help. And it can be used for extracurricular activities!!! I have 4 kids! This would be so nice. I don't really want to answer to the public school/government though. :confused:

HSLDA and Mary Schofield have written extensively about this issue, one California hsers have been dealing with for well over 20 years (before charter schools, it was Independent Study Programs). Here's a link to an HSLDA article, which gives general objections to government-funded charter schools. I have a couple of very good articles by Mary Schofield; if you'll PM me with your e-mail addy, I'll send them to you to read. They're too lengthy to post here.

 

Keep in mind that charter schools are not "financial help." They are public schools. Students enrolled in them are legally not homeschoolers; they are public school students, and subject to public school requirements, including exit exams, keeping track of hours, and more.

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LA Mom,

 

it's going to depend on which charter you are looking at. Some operate like a regular school and will give you a choice of books among many and enrichment classes on their campus, but no funds for outside things.

 

Some are designed to be homeschool friendly and will give you full choice as to materials and scope/sequence if that is what you want. You will have to read the school's charter to see how they handle accounting of hours and outside teaching of faith. Charter schools run by a charter that is approved by the sponsoring school district, because they are a charter school, they have some freedom to bypass some standards regular schools have to keep. This is what makes them different and hopefully more successful then the regular schools, the freedom to do things differently.

 

I have used 3 different charters during our 11 years of homeschooling and have pointed friends to more school-like charters...knowing it would work better for them. I like a hands-off approach so I can use the materials I think will work best for us.

 

if you have some specific questions, you can pm or email me :001_smile:

 

marmee sez at aim dot com

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According to the California constitution, no, it isn't legal to use any religious materials, for any subject, regardless of who pays for them. Many charter school facilitators and parents have found ways to work around that, but when it comes right down to it, no, it isn't legal.

 

Wait, this is misleading. It isn't legal to use Christian materials purchased with public school funds or on public school time, but it is not illegal to use them at all--if that were true, then public school attendance would prohibit catechism classes and such. This allegation is promulgated by CHEA, but it's very biased and only part of the story, just like when the old CA superintendent of schools used to claim that homeschooling was illegal in this state--it was, but if you registered yourself as a private school, THAT was legal. In each case, someone is taking part of the story and elevating it to the status of the full truth.

 

 

Keep in mind that charter schools are not "financial help." They are public schools. Students enrolled in them are legally not homeschoolers; they are public school students, and subject to public school requirements, including exit exams, keeping track of hours, and more.

 

This is correct in CA, although we charter ISP parents also have the same rights as public school parents. So, for instance, one year when it was not in my DD's best interests to take the STAR exam, I opted out of it. They were not happy about that, but I had good reasons, documented the decision, and although they nagged me about it quite a bit, there was nothing they could do about it.

 

I did not have to use specific curricula for any subject in the ISP I had. Some are based on specific curricula, such as K12, and if you sign up for one like that you lose considerable freedom and are barely in charge at all.

 

Actually if you wanted to get technical about it, no one homeschools in CA. Instead, they establish private schools in their homes.

 

The fact is, if Christians have an authority issue with public schools in general, they probably should carefully consider whether to skip the charters on principle. Personally I was ALWAYS in charge of my DD's education, thank you very much, and everyone knew it. However, I do see a danger in the public charters that if they get to be too common, they might turn into a requirement instead of an option. This MUST be fought legislatively. Just watching our charter evolve in its requirements and attempts to take more control over the few years that we participated was enough to make it really clear that if they were mandatory they would be in your face all the time.

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Carol has covered it all really well for you. We participated in a charter for a year. It was a good experience, and we received a large stipend ($1800 per kid). I used the majority of that for dd's piano lessons. We met once a month with the ES. She was very, very easy going. We continued to use Abeka and Sonlight with her knowledge, but used worksheets without biblical references for our samples.

 

We moved to a different area and the local charter only gives $600 a year. I decided that it wasn't enough of an incitement for the work involved. Putting together the monthly assessments did take a certain amount of effort. Not much, but more than I was willing to do for $600.

 

You have nothing to lose by investigating.

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So I could use TOG or MFW but it just wouldn't be paid for? They don't have a "you may only use this or this" list of curricula?

 

I would probably not like someone asking questions, etc. How much does the state give per year/per child?

 

You can use those, but not on the 'school's time' or on their dime. The amount varies--I think I was getting around 1700/year, which is very helpful.

 

What I found about the questions was that if I was proactive and volunteered the information, I could pretty much send the meeting in any direction that I wanted. I was cheerful and always had something in mind for each meeting, and I didn't blame the ES for when the ISP was flakey, and I always made sure to fulfil the requirements ahead of time, so it was easy for her to let me take the lead because I just took everything else off the table and I didn't fight. I didn't do that as a strategy--that's really pretty much the way I am--but it turned out that it really helped me have a better experience than some of my friends who carried a lot of angst or even some disorganization into their meetings. Having said that, I was also really lucky to get and keep a good ES. The newbies are sometimes not well-versed in how the system works, and sometimes that causes some problems. Also some of them are more authoritarian than they really need to be, which can be borderline offensive.

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Not a Christian here but we are in a charter. From my experience, it seems like it would be fine to use those curricula but only talk about the secular topics/books when discussing it with your educational consultant. At your kids' ages, you can get a few picture books from the library on the topic to read. You can probably talk about the projects/field trips with no problem. You could get a secular reference book and list that as your spine. What I do is, I collect the work samples and make a list of topics, books, etc. and read it to her to put in her records when she comes for the meeting. So she doesn't need to know about your bible studies etc., just that you were studying this time in ancient history. You really don't tell her every single thing you do - if you have a few books and projects to mention for the month you are good.

 

Even things with some religion can be OK - I used SWR which has frequent Bible verses and references. But I am just showing the teacher a list of spelling words.

 

Try to use most of your money for classes, consumables like science kits, etc. that will add to your main curricula.

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Actually if you wanted to get technical about it, no one homeschools in CA. Instead, they establish private schools in their homes.

Except that there is now a court case which officially recognizes homeschools as private schools. That adds an amazing amount of clout to the whole R-4 issue. :-)

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Could someone please post a link to the original questions on Charter schools?

 

Also, I have heard that the amount of money provided for students of these schools is going to go way down this next year. Has anyone heard anything about this. We do not use a charter, we live just outside the US, but we do plenty of activities with san Diego home schoolers. At our last event, they were speaking about this. From what I gathered all the schools n the county were making big cuts in this area, and I believe the largest number I had heard for this past school year was $700. $1,800, is just WOW. I would think that they would be provided a good stipend for parents/students. It would seem to me that these schools often save the gov. money. Maybe I am wrong.

 

Danielle

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We continued to use Abeka and Sonlight with her knowledge, but used worksheets without biblical references for our samples.

 

 

 

From my experience, it seems like it would be fine to use those curricula but only talk about the secular topics/books when discussing it with your educational consultant. ... So she doesn't need to know about your bible studies etc., just that you were studying this time in ancient history.

 

 

This is where I have a very difficult time with being a Christian in a charter school. I looked into one near us that has many Christian families in it. I was basically told that I could use the curricula I chose, and that the ES would match things up for the state. For me, this seems very dishonest all for the gain of extra money for our kids. I felt that I wouldn't be standing up for my beliefs. How could I profess and say one thing, yet basically allow the truth to be hidden for financial benefit? How would that be perceived by non-Christians, and possibly future believers? And, I would have to answer (testing, records, etc) ultimately to the state.

 

By quoting above, I mean no personal attack, nor do I reply with a argumentative, mean spirit. I'm also not accusing other Christians that use charters of being dishonest. I just think that maybe the thought hasn't even occurred to them. And certainly, my convictions aren't the same for others. There has been increased division within the Christian homeschooling community over this that truly breaks my heart. Yet, I want others to understand how many of us feel (I have many friends that feel the same way). We should be able to discuss all sides in a kind, loving & Christ-like manner.

 

Blessings,

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Could someone please post a link to the original questions on Charter schools?

 

Also, I have heard that the amount of money provided for students of these schools is going to go way down this next year. Has anyone heard anything about this. We do not use a charter, we live just outside the US, but we do plenty of activities with san Diego home schoolers. At our last event, they were speaking about this. From what I gathered all the schools n the county were making big cuts in this area, and I believe the largest number I had heard for this past school year was $700. $1,800, is just WOW. I would think that they would be provided a good stipend for parents/students. It would seem to me that these schools often save the gov. money. Maybe I am wrong.

 

Danielle

 

I agree that $1800 is pretty amazing. We are in San Diego and get $700 per year per child. But that amount is misleadingly low in that it only represents consumable materials. I've yet to learn if there is an amount limit on non-consumable materials, but I've never been denied any requests. The only catch is that the non-consumable materials belong to the school and need to be given back after you are finished using them. For the most part, this is no big deal. If I really want to keep something long-term, I will purchase it myself. The fact that the other materials go back to the school means I have reduced clutter in my house!

 

I believe these charters actually save gov't money, too.

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This is where I have a very difficult time with being a Christian in a charter school. I looked into one near us that has many Christian families in it. I was basically told that I could use the curricula I chose, and that the ES would match things up for the state. For me, this seems very dishonest all for the gain of extra money for our kids. I felt that I wouldn't be standing up for my beliefs. How could I profess and say one thing, yet basically allow the truth to be hidden for financial benefit? How would that be perceived by non-Christians, and possibly future believers? And, I would have to answer (testing, records, etc) ultimately to the state.

 

By quoting above, I mean no personal attack, nor do I reply with a argumentative, mean spirit. I'm also not accusing other Christians that use charters of being dishonest. I just think that maybe the thought hasn't even occurred to them. And certainly, my convictions aren't the same for others. There has been increased division within the Christian homeschooling community over this that truly breaks my heart. Yet, I want others to understand how many of us feel (I have many friends that feel the same way). We should be able to discuss all sides in a kind, loving & Christ-like manner.

 

 

 

Well, when I posted I meant more that, the EC will probably be aware that the family is adding much Christian worldview and content but it is part of school that doesn't officially count for the public school aspect. However I definitely respect those for whom that wouldn't work and as a non-Christian I have not faced this dilemma personally so certainly support those who could not separate the schoolwork in this way. I felt compelled to post because of my experience with charters and talking to a Christian family who was able to do this but don't really belong in this thread :001_smile:

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You only get money with home-based charter schools. There are charter schools which have actual campuses, which look like "regular" schools. There was one at one time in the SF Bay area, I believe, that was a military school.:001_huh:

 

 

Yes.

 

This is a hot, hot, hot topic.

 

According to the California constitution, no, it isn't legal to use any religious materials, for any subject, regardless of who pays for them. Many charter school facilitators and parents have found ways to work around that, but when it comes right down to it, no, it isn't legal.

 

 

HSLDA and Mary Schofield have written extensively about this issue, one California hsers have been dealing with for well over 20 years (before charter schools, it was Independent Study Programs). Here's a link to an HSLDA article, which gives general objections to government-funded charter schools. I have a couple of very good articles by Mary Schofield; if you'll PM me with your e-mail addy, I'll send them to you to read. They're too lengthy to post here.

 

Keep in mind that charter schools are not "financial help." They are public schools. Students enrolled in them are legally not homeschoolers; they are public school students, and subject to public school requirements, including exit exams, keeping track of hours, and more.

 

We are in California and will be filing a private school affidavit next year. I would love to read those articles. Could you email them to me? I will PM you my email address. Thanks!

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Except that there is now a court case which officially recognizes homeschools as private schools. That adds an amazing amount of clout to the whole R-4 issue. :-)

 

Yes, but if you want to be very technical (which is annoyingly common among anti-homeschooling public school administrators), the term 'homeschool' is not legally permitted in CA. If people say that they are homeschooling and don't enroll in either an ISP, a PSP, or file an R4 (declaration of a private school), they are in violation of the law and subject to truancy charges. But if they just do the R4, which is exactly like homeschooling, but is not CALLED homeschooling, they are perfectly legal. So some admins will still say that homeschooling is illegal. Really, it is extremely misleading of them to do that (no accident there) and borderline dishonest, but technically correct. So annoying.

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This is where I have a very difficult time with being a Christian in a charter school. I looked into one near us that has many Christian families in it. I was basically told that I could use the curricula I chose, and that the ES would match things up for the state. For me, this seems very dishonest all for the gain of extra money for our kids. I felt that I wouldn't be standing up for my beliefs. How could I profess and say one thing, yet basically allow the truth to be hidden for financial benefit? How would that be perceived by non-Christians, and possibly future believers?

 

YES. I have known people who were told things like, "You can't write 'God's Wonderful World' on your list of curricular materials, so just write 'The Wonderful World.'" Or they were told to include the table of contents instead of the book title.

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Yes, but if you want to be very technical (which is annoyingly common among anti-homeschooling public school administrators), the term 'homeschool' is not legally permitted in CA. If people say that they are homeschooling and don't enroll in either an ISP, a PSP, or file an R4 (declaration of a private school), they are in violation of the law and subject to truancy charges. But if they just do the R4, which is exactly like homeschooling, but is not CALLED homeschooling, they are perfectly legal. So some admins will still say that homeschooling is illegal. Really, it is extremely misleading of them to do that (no accident there) and borderline dishonest, but technically correct. So annoying.

It isn't that the term isn't permitted; it is that it doesn't exist in the statutes. It is why HSLDA and Roy Hanson have encouraged parents for many years to say that their dc are enrolled in private schools, not that they're homeschooling, when they talk to Official School Types. But people don't listen. HSLDA has also been telling people for years that there isn't an official number of school days, that attendance records are supposed to indicate when children are absent and not when they're present, and that there are no requirements to for private schools to graduate their students, and people still pass along those urban legends. :tongue_smilie:

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YES. I have known people who were told things like, "You can't write 'God's Wonderful World' on your list of curricular materials, so just write 'The Wonderful World.'" Or they were told to include the table of contents instead of the book title.

 

Yes, it's a tough question ethically. I was really, really careful about this, as I didn't want to not give a witness and certainly not to be deceptive. I would report everything we did, even the Christian stuff, and the ES could censor this as she saw fit. I did give her work samples that did not have Christian references, and that is because I had a commitment not to use Christian materials in the part of the schoolwork that involved the state. From an ethical standpoint I think that that was fine, but I gave it a lot of thought, and was really careful not to censor my reports.

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It isn't that the term isn't permitted; it is that it doesn't exist in the statutes.

 

Right. Which makes it tremendously close to lying when a state admin says that homeschooling is illegal.

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YES. I have known people who were told things like, "You can't write 'God's Wonderful World' on your list of curricular materials, so just write 'The Wonderful World.'" Or they were told to include the table of contents instead of the book title.

 

 

I'm having some difficulty wrapping my head around how this is dishonest. I'm not a Christian. However, it seems to me that if a Christian enrolls his/her child in a school funded by public monies--whether a brick and mortar school or a homeschooling charter--the state is not interested in the type of religious instruction that family is incorporating into their home. The state is only interested in the academic content of the instruction.

 

So, I don't think a religious family of any denomination who enrolls a child in a brick and mortar public school would feel dishonest if they didn't provide the state with any and all information about how they are instructing their child about religion in the home, right? They are still getting the benefit of public money for education, in the same way homeschooling charter school families receive the benefit of public money for education.

 

In the case of a homeschooling charter family, there has to be a little more flexibility to allow for that family's freedom of religion in the home, while at the same time also allowing that family the freedom of choice in terms of providing academic instruction in the home. I think it's less a matter of dishonesty and more a matter of separating academic content from religious content.

 

Perhaps there is more to this argument than what I'm seeing?

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I'm having some difficulty wrapping my head around how this is dishonest. I'm not a Christian. However, it seems to me that if a Christian enrolls his/her child in a school funded by public monies--whether a brick and mortar school or a homeschooling charter--the state is not interested in the type of religious instruction that family is incorporating into their home. The state is only interested in the academic content of the instruction.

 

So, I don't think a religious family of any denomination who enrolls a child in a brick and mortar public school would feel dishonest if they didn't provide the state with any and all information about how they are instructing their child about religion in the home, right? They are still getting the benefit of public money for education, in the same way homeschooling charter school families receive the benefit of public money for education.

 

In the case of a homeschooling charter family, there has to be a little more flexibility to allow for that family's freedom of religion in the home, while at the same time also allowing that family the freedom of choice in terms of providing academic instruction in the home. I think it's less a matter of dishonesty and more a matter of separating academic content from religious content.

 

Perhaps there is more to this argument than what I'm seeing?

 

Ellie was responding to my previous post. Many of us teach history, science and math from a Christian worldview, using Christian materials. It can't be separated. It is an integral part of our homeschool. The law in CA clearly states that only non-religious materials be used for instruction in these areas. It is my opinion that the ES/EC censoring this and/or changing the records in order for the charter to receive money from the state would be deception in my family's name.

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I agree that $1800 is pretty amazing. We are in San Diego and get $700 per year per child. But that amount is misleadingly low in that it only represents consumable materials. I've yet to learn if there is an amount limit on non-consumable materials, but I've never been denied any requests. The only catch is that the non-consumable materials belong to the school and need to be given back after you are finished using them. For the most part, this is no big deal. If I really want to keep something long-term, I will purchase it myself. The fact that the other materials go back to the school means I have reduced clutter in my house!

 

I believe these charters actually save gov't money, too.

 

So, if you have the materials or use the non-consumables, can this money be used for things like music lessons, karate, PE, science labs, etc?

 

I wonder why the amount of money given is different from one county to another. I know, different districts, but a difference of $1,100 is quite a bit. I was told by a school administrator that each their school received $500 a month per student. It seems that if this is the case, they really should be saving a lot of money.

 

Hmmmmm, food for thought.

 

Danielle

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Ellie was responding to my previous post. Many of us teach history, science and math from a Christian worldview, using Christian materials. It can't be separated. It is an integral part of our homeschool. The law in CA clearly states that only non-religious materials be used for instruction in these areas. It is my opinion that the ES/EC sensoring this and/or changing the records in order for the charter to receive money from the state would be deception in my family's name.

 

Thanks for your reply!

 

Maybe I'm at a disadvantage because I haven't seen the materials with a Christian worldview of which you speak. From what I understand, the state cannot pay for this type of curricula, so a religious family would not be getting money for the curricula, itself. On the other hand, the state can't prohibit a family from purchasing those materials and using them in the privacy of their home, either. So it seems like the redaction of religious content from materials used by a homeschooling charter school family (that they pay for themselves) is a happy compromise, as long as the core academic content included in the materials is appropriate.

 

Now, if the family was misrepresenting what was taught in terms of the academic content -- I could see that as being deceptive, whether it was religious material or not.

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So, if you have the materials or use the non-consumables, can this money be used for things like music lessons, karate, PE, science labs, etc?

 

I wonder why the amount of money given is different from one county to another. I know, different districts, but a difference of $1,100 is quite a bit. I was told by a school administrator that each their school received $500 a month per student. It seems that if this is the case, they really should be saving a lot of money.

 

Hmmmmm, food for thought.

 

Danielle

 

Yes, technically, you could educate your child using all non-consumable materials, and your entire consumable budget could all be used for lessons, pe, etc, as long as the provider for the lessons was an approved educational vendor for the school. I have a friend who pretty much does this. Her whole budget for consumables goes to her kids' piano lessons.

 

I have no idea why the amount of money is different from one county to another. It's interesting, isn't it?

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Could someone please post a link to the original questions on Charter schools?

 

Also, I have heard that the amount of money provided for students of these schools is going to go way down this next year. Has anyone heard anything about this. We do not use a charter, we live just outside the US, but we do plenty of activities with san Diego home schoolers. At our last event, they were speaking about this. From what I gathered all the schools n the county were making big cuts in this area, and I believe the largest number I had heard for this past school year was $700. $1,800, is just WOW. I would think that they would be provided a good stipend for parents/students. It would seem to me that these schools often save the gov. money. Maybe I am wrong.

 

Danielle

 

The dollar amount you've quoted above ($1,800) may have been true ten years ago but not today. Over the past 13 years with a charter school that offers independent study, we never received more than $1,200 per student. Of that $1,200, a percentage needed to be non-consumable materials and books so at the end of the year these non-consumables would be returned to a lending library. This year I received less than $500.00 per student and were asked to not order expensive consumable items.

 

This may sound like a lot of money to some, but as your students progress through grade levels, the cost of materials rise. Math and science are among the most expensive.

 

The Charter school my daughters attended works with families of all religions. Keeping religion and school separate (separation of church and state) for record keeping and refraining from purchasing overtly religious materials is all that is asked. For example, I've used Phonics Adventures from a Christian publisher and crossed out all biblical or religious references if I choose to turn in a worksheet sample from this work text. Since religion is not an issue for me this works; however, if I did not want to cross out I would opt out of including anything from Phonics Adventures as a work sample.

 

If you plan on using all Christian material in your homeschooling and use a charter school you'd be better off looking at other options. I agree with the other posters, it is dishonest if you're buying religious materials to homeschool with state money, and then manipulating records so it isn't reflected in your record keeping. That kind of dishonesty doesn't sound very Christian to me.

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The dollar amount you've quoted above ($1,800) may have been true ten years ago but not today. Over the past 13 years with a charter school that offers independent study, we never received more than $1,200 per student. Of that $1,200, a percentage needed to be non-consumable materials and books so at the end of the year these non-consumables would be returned to a lending library. This year I received less than $500.00 per student and were asked to not order expensive consumable items.

 

This may sound like a lot of money to some, but as your students progress through grade levels, the cost of materials rise. Math and science are among the most expensive.

 

The Charter school my daughters attended works with families of all religions. Keeping religion and school separate (separation of church and state) for record keeping and refraining from purchasing overtly religious materials is all that is asked. For example, I've used Phonics Adventures from a Christian publisher and crossed out all biblical or religious references if I choose to turn in a worksheet sample from this work text. Since religion is not an issue for me this works; however, if I did not want to cross out I would opt out of including anything from Phonics Adventures as a work sample.

 

If you plan on using all Christian material in your homeschooling and use a charter school you'd be better off looking at other options. I agree with the other posters, it is dishonest if you're buying religious materials to homeschool with state money, and then manipulating records so it isn't reflected in your record keeping. That kind of dishonesty doesn't sound very Christian to me.

 

My kids get $1600.00 per year for curriculum and activities. I cannot use funds to pay for Religious materials but I will be using some for next year.

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My kids get $1600.00 per year for curriculum and activities. I cannot use funds to pay for Religious materials but I will be using some for next year.

 

I live in CA with a dwindling budget for education. Are you in CA? If so, Which county? Maybe I should move.

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If you plan on using all Christian material in your homeschooling and use a charter school you'd be better off looking at other options. I agree with the other posters, it is dishonest if you're buying religious materials to homeschool with state money, and then manipulating records so it isn't reflected in your record keeping. That kind of dishonesty doesn't sound very Christian to me.

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I agree with this. I don't know of any charter, though, that pays for religious materials. And I don't think that public funds should pay for them--that's government establishment of religion, really.

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Our charter school's log only requires a listing of topics covered rather than which specific materials we use. There are also no minimum instructional hours, so I consider any time we spend on religion to be "off the clock". If my children were enrolled in a B&M charter school it would be none of the school's business for me to supplement with religious ed classes after school. The only difference with the virtual charter is that RE is interspersed throughout the day.

 

I have homeschooled through both the private and the charter options, and it has changed very little about the way I homeschool.

 

As a Catholic Christian, I have a *BIG* problem with narrow definitions designed to exclude certain families who self-identify with a particular label. All families who educate their children at home and do not have them enrolled in a classroom-based school are homeschoolers. :001_smile:

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I live in CA with a dwindling budget for education. Are you in CA? If so, Which county? Maybe I should move.

 

 

Yes, I am in Northern California. Where do you live? The charter we belong to serves many different counties.

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My kids get $1600.00 per year for curriculum and activities. I cannot use funds to pay for Religious materials but I will be using some for next year.

 

Is that $1600 each or $1600 for both?

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:bigear: We have been thinking about moving back to Ca. Most likely Northern San Diego, but please do tell. Dh really wants one of our dc to go the charter school route, so it would be great to know and make decision accordingly.

 

Danielle

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:bigear: We have been thinking about moving back to Ca. Most likely Northern San Diego, but please do tell. Dh really wants one of our dc to go the charter school route, so it would be great to know and make decision accordingly.

 

Danielle

 

Be aware that the 2 largest charters in No. County San Diego have drastically cut back on classes and $$ for extra curricular activities. Even though both charters have full enrollment, the districts are pulling $$ away from them.

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From what I understand, the state cannot pay for this type of curricula, so a religious family would not be getting money for the curricula, itself. On the other hand, the state can't prohibit a family from purchasing those materials and using them in the privacy of their home, either. So it seems like the redaction of religious content from materials used by a homeschooling charter school family (that they pay for themselves) is a happy compromise, as long as the core academic content included in the materials is appropriate.

 

Now, if the family was misrepresenting what was taught in terms of the academic content -- I could see that as being deceptive, whether it was religious material or not.

Legally, according to the California Constitution, if the parents are using religious materials to teach any subject, they are not even supposed to count the time spent for that subject, regardless of who paid for the materials.

 

Not sure why it would be a "happy compromise" for Christians (or other religion, because it pertains to all) to enroll their dc in a public school program for the sake of money when they have to censor their own teaching to recieve that money.

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Legally, according to the California Constitution, if the parents are using religious materials to teach any subject, they are not even supposed to count the time spent for that subject, regardless of who paid for the materials.

 

Not sure why it would be a "happy compromise" for Christians (or other religion, because it pertains to all) to enroll their dc in a public school program for the sake of money when they have to censor their own teaching to recieve that money.

 

But the thing is, they aren't censoring their teaching. They are still teaching religion in their homes, and the state can't tell them not to. They just wouldn't be reporting this religious teaching to the state because they shouldn't have to (and the state isn't interested in knowing).

 

I realize this is a tricky area, but because parents in these schools are teaching their own children in their own homes, the rules have to be more flexible than if it was a brick and mortar school such that the state does not infringe upon religious freedoms.

 

I'd like to learn more about this area legally -- I'm sure the Constitution doesn't reference counting time spent on individual subjects, but the caselaw may say something. I think the courts would have to evaluate a situation like this by balancing the state's interests with the individual's interests. That's why I made the comment about the happy compromise earlier -- just trying to think about it in a way that balances the competing interests involved.

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But the thing is, they aren't censoring their teaching. They are still teaching religion in their homes, and the state can't tell them not to. They just wouldn't be reporting this religious teaching to the state because they shouldn't have to (and the state isn't interested in knowing).

The parents are supposed to document how much time is spent in instruction (that's how the charter school gets paid--by how much time students [supposedly] spend in school). The parents are NOT supposed to count the time they spend using religious materials, for any subject. This particular issue is overlooked all the time, for obvious reasons.

 

This is a California Constitution issue, not a U.S. Constitution. Separation of church and state and all that rot. :001_rolleyes:

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The parents are supposed to document how much time is spent in instruction (that's how the charter school gets paid--by how much time students [supposedly] spend in school). The parents are NOT supposed to count the time they spend using religious materials, for any subject. This particular issue is overlooked all the time, for obvious reasons.

 

This is a California Constitution issue, not a U.S. Constitution. Separation of church and state and all that rot. :001_rolleyes:

 

I'm fairly certain I'm not required to report time spent on instruction. At least I never have in the past couple years I've done it. I'll have to check all my paperwork to double check.

 

But, in any event, do you have any case citations for the time reporting issue? I know we are talking about the California Constitution -- again, I don't think the California Constitution talks about time reporting requirements. Or maybe it does and I missed it -- could you give me a cite? I'd like to check this out. Thanks for your help.

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Be aware that the 2 largest charters in No. County San Diego have drastically cut back on classes and $$ for extra curricular activities. Even though both charters have full enrollment, the districts are pulling $$ away from them.

 

Yes, I actually mentioned that in an earlier post in general terms.;) I guess it is happening all over. Dh is really the one interested in this. He thinks the choice of one or two in house classes would be good prep in case ds decides to go to HS full time. Personally, I think his two online classes will do enough for accountability and what not. As far as the money, I am curious. Any money would help, so I couldn't complain. I just wonder at what cost. Everyone I know raves about the Charter schools though.

 

Danielle

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amsunshine

 

The parents are supposed to document how much time is spent in instruction (that's how the charter school gets paid--by how much time students [supposedly] spend in school). The parents are NOT supposed to count the time they spend using religious materials, for any subject. This particular issue is overlooked all the time, for obvious reasons.

 

This is a California Constitution issue, not a U.S. Constitution. Separation of church and state and all that rot. :001_rolleyes:

 

The above is true. Attendance is taken, but the hours spent on each subject are loosely defined by each charter. Some charters require a certain number of days for school year and others require a certain number of hours. All want documentation of progress made in a core of four subjects. No matter how it is counted, it all adds up to attendance which equals dollars for the sponsoring school district and the charter school.

 

The distinction you need to understand is that the teaching of religious material is extra curricular and therefore not counted as homeschooling, nor is religious material as a part of homeschooling paid for by a state. A charter school is a part of the public school system. There is a very clear separation between church and state governing public education. The state is not infringing on religious freedom, rather it is saying, "Do it on your own time with your own dime." It would not be any different if you sent your child off to school. Your religious teaching would be extra curricular, at your convince, and at your expense. In my opinion, people who choose to take advantage of the option to homeschool via a state charter, who buy and use religious material with state dollars, who are demanding less government are frightfully hypocritical.

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amsunshine

 

 

 

The above is true. Attendance is taken, but the hours spent on each subject are loosely defined by each charter. Some charters require a certain number of days for school year and others require a certain number of hours. All want documentation of progress made in a core of four subjects. No matter how it is counted, it all adds up to attendance which equals dollars for the sponsoring school district and the charter school.

 

The distinction you need to understand is that the teaching of religious material is extra curricular and therefore not counted as homeschooling, nor is religious material as a part of homeschooling paid for by a state. A charter school is a part of the public school system. There is a very clear separation between church and state governing public education. The state is not infringing on religious freedom, rather it is saying, "Do it on your own time with your own dime." It would not be any different if you sent your child off to school. Your religious teaching would be extra curricular, at your convince, and at your expense. In my opinion, people who choose to take advantage of the option to homeschool via a state charter, who buy and use religious material with state dollars, who are demanding less government are frightfully hypocritical.

 

 

Am I missing something here? I am pretty sure that there are safe guards in place to keep people from spending public money from a charter school on religious materials. Everyone I have spoken to either has to buy through the schools venders or provide an itemized receipt.

 

Danielle

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Am I missing something here? I am pretty sure that there are safe guards in place to keep people from spending public money from a charter school on religious materials. Everyone I have spoken to either has to buy through the schools venders or provide an itemized receipt.

 

Danielle

On paper there are safe guards that prevent money from being spent on religious materials. In reality, material slips through. To be fair to the independent study teachers (IST), they do check materials, but people push boundaries. Yes, one does buy through a school's list of vendors. One of the biggest vendors for my charter school is Rainbow Resources. An itemized receipt doesn't tell anyone what is between the covers of a book. It seems to me that the lure of what appears to be free money to educate can cloud ethics. There are strings attached to those education dollars. One of those strings is state testing. While not required, to choose not to participate in yearly state testing can put a charter in jeopardy of not fulfilling its charter agreement.(This is true for the charter school we attend, but I do not know the nature of other charters.)

 

 

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On paper there are safe guards that prevent money from being spent on religious materials. In reality, material slips through. To be fair to the independent study teachers (IST), they do check materials, but people push boundaries. Yes, one does buy through a school's list of vendors. One of the biggest vendors for my charter school is Rainbow Resources. An itemized receipt doesn't tell anyone what is between the covers of a book. It seems to me that the lure of what appears to be free money to educate can cloud ethics. There are strings attached to those education dollars. One of those strings is state testing. While not required, to choose not to participate in yearly state testing can put a charter in jeopardy of not fulfilling its charter agreement.(This is true for the charter school we attend, but I do not know the nature of other charters.)

 

 

 

Oooooh, I couldn't do that. I mean, pay for those things and use the money towards piano or something. That is just me though, sometimes things don't occur to me if they are things I just wouldn't do. I am very much a rule follower, goody two shoes type.

 

Thanks for the explanation.

 

Danielle

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Oooooh, I couldn't do that. I mean, pay for those things and use the money towards piano or something. That is just me though, sometimes things don't occur to me if they are things I just wouldn't do. I am very much a rule follower, goody two shoes type.

 

Thanks for the explanation.

 

Danielle

 

Well, in my charter, that's not even possible. You have to say where the money should go, and it goes straight there. You never have it yourself at all. So, for instance, I would say, OK, we are signed up for this choral program (secular), and the ES would cut an invoice to the charter for the cost, and the charter would pay it directly. So there is no taking the money and using it elsewhere; that's not possible.

 

And we did buy from Rainbow, but nothing Christian ever.

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Well, in my charter, that's not even possible. You have to say where the money should go, and it goes straight there. You never have it yourself at all. So, for instance, I would say, OK, we are signed up for this choral program (secular), and the ES would cut an invoice to the charter for the cost, and the charter would pay it directly. So there is no taking the money and using it elsewhere; that's not possible.

 

And we did buy from Rainbow, but nothing Christian ever.

:iagree: Money never passed through my hands.

 

 

Am I missing something here? I am pretty sure that there are safe guards in place to keep people from spending public money from a charter school on religious materials. Everyone I have spoken to either has to buy through the schools venders or provide an itemized receipt.

 

Danielle

:iagree:

I'm fairly certain I'm not required to report time spent on instruction. At least I never have in the past couple years I've done it. I'll have to check all my paperwork to double check.

 

But, in any event, do you have any case citations for the time reporting issue? I know we are talking about the California Constitution -- again, I don't think the California Constitution talks about time reporting requirements. Or maybe it does and I missed it -- could you give me a cite? I'd like to check this out. Thanks for your help.

No time reporting for us. Just days in attendance.

The parents are supposed to document how much time is spent in instruction :

That is not an accurate statement based on my experience.

 

Our charter school's log only requires a listing of topics covered rather than which specific materials we use. There are also no minimum instructional hours, so I consider any time we spend on religion to be "off the clock". If my children were enrolled in a B&M charter school it would be none of the school's business for me to supplement with religious ed classes after school. The only difference with the virtual charter is that RE is interspersed throughout the day.

 

I have homeschooled through both the private and the charter options, and it has changed very little about the way I homeschool.

 

:001_smile:

:iagree: This is how our charter worked as well.

The dollar amount you've quoted above ($1,800) may have been true ten years ago but not today.

Ocean Grove as of 2008 was at $1800.

Ellie was responding to my previous post. Many of us teach history, science and math from a Christian worldview, using Christian materials. It can't be separated. It is an integral part of our homeschool. The law in CA clearly states that only non-religious materials be used for instruction in these areas. It is my opinion that the ES/EC censoring this and/or changing the records in order for the charter to receive money from the state would be deception in my family's name.

I can totally see why a charter would be all wrong for you. However, not all Christians teach with exclusively christian materials.

This is where I have a very difficult time with being a Christian in a charter school. I looked into one near us that has many Christian families in it. I was basically told that I could use the curricula I chose, and that the ES would match things up for the state. For me, this seems very dishonest all for the gain of extra money for our kids. I felt that I wouldn't be standing up for my beliefs. How could I profess and say one thing, yet basically allow the truth to be hidden for financial benefit? How would that be perceived by non-Christians, and possibly future believers? And, I would have to answer (testing, records, etc) ultimately to the state.

 

By quoting above, I mean no personal attack, nor do I reply with a argumentative, mean spirit. I'm also not accusing other Christians that use charters of being dishonest. I just think that maybe the thought hasn't even occurred to them. And certainly, my convictions aren't the same for others. There has been increased division within the Christian homeschooling community over this that truly breaks my heart. Yet, I want others to understand how many of us feel (I have many friends that feel the same way). We should be able to discuss all sides in a kind, loving & Christ-like manner.

 

Blessings,

The charter we used wanted samples of knowledge gained. Certainly, I can show progress in grammar without a bible verse being present. When we were with the charter, we didn't teach subjects with exclusively Christian materials. If you sat in on a homeschool day, certainly that worldview was present, but I never once felt like I was lying to anyone about our materials or our day. This accusation of dishonestly actually comes up quite a bit in the California hs community, so it's not that it hasn't occurred to me, it's just that I don't agree with the conclusions that you (CHEA, Ellie, ect) are coming to. There are broad brush strokes being painted, despite the many differences in the different charters.

 

I absolutely believe that one can use a charter and simultaneously give their kids a Christian education, without lying or breaking the law in any fashion.

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This accusation of dishonestly actually comes up quite a bit in the California hs community, so it's not that it hasn't occurred to me, it's just that I don't agree with the conclusions that you (CHEA, Ellie, ect) are coming to. There are broad brush strokes being painted, despite the many differences in the different charters.

But I have talked with actual, real people who said they had done things I mentioned (e.g., changed the title of a textbook so it didn't sound religious, listed only the table of contents). These are not conclusions based on something which might--or might not--happen. They are real.

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But I have talked with actual, real people who said they had done things I mentioned (e.g., changed the title of a textbook so it didn't sound religious, listed only the table of contents). These are not conclusions based on something which might--or might not--happen. They are real.

 

Yes, it could happen, but in my experience- and having a good friend who was an ES for a charter...I know the ES (teacher over-seeing) receives the materials first and goes through it. If a family tried to deceive the school and ES, the ES would see it, send the material back and the relationship between the ES/family would become pretty strained- she would now know you did something dishonest. All parties have an interest in not breaking the rules, because they want the charter school to stay open. From what I have read/seen, the teacher's union is very interested in not having these charter schools and would jump on this kind of stuff. All of my ES's have been very careful to not order things we can not.

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Is that $1600 each or $1600 for both?

 

 

It is $1600.00 each. I started in January and they both received $900 for their budget for the 2nd semester.

 

It's pretty nice and the budget will be the same next year too.

 

There ordering is through vendors as well. I have never "touched" the budget monies. Each child has an individual account and if I want to order something, I just log into their account online and choose the vendor I want to order from. They have a list of approved vendors, like Amazon and Rainbow Resource. I then input the number to the item, the description and the price and then it takes a few days before it's approved or denied. The money is taken from your account and then the item(s) ships directly to you. It has to be approved by the charter before the order can even be placed and Yes, I have had items denied because they felt they were not educational. I think I had picked a few board games out, like Q-bids and that was denied although other educational games were approved. I have used the money for music classes, books from Amazon, board games and supplemental curriculum. I have also ordered AAS program and all their beginning curriculum books. I found it very useful and I will be teaching some from Christian curriculum this fall but it will be paid for out of my pocket.

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There are broad brush strokes being painted, despite the many differences in the different charters.

 

I agree.

 

But I have talked with actual, real people who said they had done things I mentioned (e.g., changed the title of a textbook so it didn't sound religious, listed only the table of contents). These are not conclusions based on something which might--or might not--happen. They are real.

 

I don't know if an accurate conclusion about anything be reached through anecdotal evidence.

 

I think the focus in most charters is on what skills and learning are covered, not how they're covered. They want to know that one's 3rd grader can add, subtract, multiply, divide, work with fractions, read with comprehension, write a paragraph, is studying some historical events/people, etc. The only restriction on texts is that the charter cannot purchase anything sectarian. Beyond that, the texts used to cover the material are irrelevant.

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I'm following the conversation with interest.

 

I can definitely see the challenge of maintaining integrity while using a charter if a family uses faith-based materials exclusively. It is entirely possible in our charter to buy all of one's own curricula (and thus buy Christian or other faith-based material) and use the charter's money for classes. Reporting that might be an interesting challenge. But in some ways it almost seems analogous to an unschooling family's reports. I know several unschooling families using charters to pay for their child's interest-driven classes, such as nature classes. Those families still need to report their child's academic progress in the core areas, even though they don't have any actual texts that they can report, or worksheets they can hand in. The charter doesn't seem to have any trouble working with the unschooling families; they also don't seem to have much trouble working with families-of-faith. I think I'd have to agree with Yvonne: the restriction is on what a family purchases with funds, not on the manner in which a child learns the material. But I imagine that even these distinctions won't work for some families, and I think that's good to be aware of when considering a charter school.

 

One thing I've picked up in my time with our charter, is that religious information can be reported if it's reported from a secular perspective. It's really hard to study history, even secularly, without touching on religion. Over the course of a year a child will certainly encounter religious information, and it would be reported. But if a faith tradition is touched on in a work sample (part of the student's portfolio to be examined by the state), in order for it to be acceptable, it needs to be an obvious example of comparative religion (looking at 2 or more faith traditions). So, on our reports, I do list the books related to our faith tradition on Sweetie's list of books she's read, but I'm also careful to include one or more books about other religions on the same list. That's not hard at our house -- my husband and I were both world religion majors in college, so examining different religions is a joy to us, and we are always studying a non-Christian tradition at any given time. But I thought I'd mention it in case it's a handy tip for anyone else.

 

Oh, and our charter has a very clear list about what can and can't be purchased with their money. We can order from Rainbow Resource, but Rainbow Resource is listed as a site where the ES needs to be extra-careful about ordering from, and they pass their orders through another staffperson for approval. And some material from Rainbow Resource can't be ordered at all, such as the FIAR material (which makes me sad).

 

Overall, our charter has been a blessing to our family :tongue_smilie:.

:)

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