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ExcitedMama

CA charter school funds for summer?

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Months ago a mom at an activity told me about a charter school that gives funds for summer, even Disneyland admission was covered, which surprised me. I was trying to remember the name of it and now I’m wondering if it’s part of the charter under indictment. Is there a charter that would do this legitimately? 

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At Ocean Grove I was not given funds for the summer.  However, since I had a solid relationship with my ES (ie, she knew I wasn't going to bolt over the summer), I could keep my non-consumables over the summer and return them the following year.  

We had a list of approved vendors, and trips to a theme park were not approved except on the somewhat specious "physics day" field trip they organized.  American Girl was an approved vendor, but only for items that weren't toys.  And to be fair, AG sells a fair number of books that would qualify as SEL.  

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And this would be the charter that was shut down and the charter management employees who are under indictment. After this news broke, it seems like charters are tightening up what they are doing. I am not part of a charter, but I moderate a very large FB group in SoCal...

I can't see how any charter can do that legitimately even when it was going on. When you read the actual indictments, they were doing really shady stuff by enrolling students in one charter for the summer and then moving said student for the school year and collecting funding twice on the same student. Apparently charter employees and existing families were getting kick backs for referring new enrollees. I believe I read in the Valiant report that something like only 17% of their students were enrolled for full school year. 

Edited by calbear
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I am in that group too. I am sad that there will be no summer school. My special needs son will not get any services. I will have to ask to get ESY services from here on out. I never asked because we always did summer school. However, I didn't know until recently they did this through a loophole. 😞

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@stibalfamily For students in need of remediation or credit recovery, I know summer school is available. However, I have no idea how that would work for your specific charter.

 

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17 hours ago, daijobu said:

At Ocean Grove I was not given funds for the summer.  However, since I had a solid relationship with my ES (ie, she knew I wasn't going to bolt over the summer), I could keep my non-consumables over the summer and return them the following year.  

We had a list of approved vendors, and trips to a theme park were not approved except on the somewhat specious "physics day" field trip they organized.  American Girl was an approved vendor, but only for items that weren't toys.  And to be fair, AG sells a fair number of books that would qualify as SEL.  

 

I am with OG too. We are allowed to keep everything as long as we are enrolled so I keep DS stuff and save it for DD when she gets to that level. I do think it’s annoying/unfair that theme parks only count for certain days even if nothing is really going on with the school to be instructive. Ditto stuff in So.Cal. that only counts on certain field trip days even if again the school isn’t actually doing anything. It should be something more like once a year funds for it. 

 

It did did seem to good to be true when I heard about it. It does seem surprising though that there is nothing over the summer. Public schools have summer school so you’d think there’d be something. 

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I'm on one of those FB groups with a lot of SoCal homeschoolers, and I'm surprised at how many high school homeschoolers down there are enrolled in charters.  Here in Northern California I heard multiple times that charters were a bureaucratic hassle for high school and best avoided.  So we dropped out of OG sometime in middle school and never looked back.  

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51 minutes ago, daijobu said:

I'm on one of those FB groups with a lot of SoCal homeschoolers, and I'm surprised at how many high school homeschoolers down there are enrolled in charters.  Here in Northern California I heard multiple times that charters were a bureaucratic hassle for high school and best avoided.  So we dropped out of OG sometime in middle school and never looked back.  

Depends on the charters. There are some down here who are looser with their requirements. I speculate that is likely to change in the future.

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On 6/2/2019 at 10:03 AM, ExcitedMama said:

 

I am with OG too. We are allowed to keep everything as long as we are enrolled so I keep DS stuff and save it for DD when she gets to that level. I do think it’s annoying/unfair that theme parks only count for certain days even if nothing is really going on with the school to be instructive. Ditto stuff in So.Cal. that only counts on certain field trip days even if again the school isn’t actually doing anything. It should be something more like once a year funds for it. 

 

It did did seem to good to be true when I heard about it. It does seem surprising though that there is nothing over the summer. Public schools have summer school so you’d think there’d be something. 

 

I'd be surprised theme parks counted for charter funds for any days at all.

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1 hour ago, vonfirmath said:

I'd be surprised theme parks counted for charter funds for any days at all.

 

Disneyland (SoCal), Great America (NorCal), Six Flags (many locations in CA) host school field trips for public and private schools. 

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On 6/2/2019 at 8:03 AM, ExcitedMama said:

Public schools have summer school so you’d think there’d be something. 

 

My public school district has summer school but it is by lottery. The demand far outstrips supply. Also summer school are hosted at the same location that are hosting the free summer food program.

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

 

Disneyland (SoCal), Great America (NorCal), Six Flags (many locations in CA) host school field trips for public and private schools. 

 

I have gone with school field trips to amusement parks but the school didn't pay for the amusement park OR the bus to it. The kids did fundraisers/parents paid for it.. And they still had to play at a band event around it to justify using school time to go.

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Basically, you can make anything educational as long as you have a work sample to demonstrate its educational value. So, third party vendors put together field trip "kits" for you, which include the work samples that you turn into the charter. Then, the charter pays the third party for the cost of the field trip. People spend their own money to upgrade from a day pass to a yearly pass.

This is one example of a charter vendor and their field trip kits. It's a big business in CA.

https://explorerfieldtrips.com/field-trip-kits/

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19 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

Basically, you can make anything educational as long as you have a work sample to demonstrate its educational value. So, third party vendors put together field trip "kits" for you, which include the work samples that you turn into the charter. Then, the charter pays the third party for the cost of the field trip. People spend their own money to upgrade from a day pass to a yearly pass.

This is one example of a charter vendor and their field trip kits. It's a big business in CA.

https://explorerfieldtrips.com/field-trip-kits/

 

I looked them up and they’re an OG vendor. Thanks! Has anyone tried to use them with OG? What do you get in your kit?

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23 minutes ago, ExcitedMama said:

 

I looked them up and they’re an OG vendor. Thanks! Has anyone tried to use them with OG? What do you get in your kit?

 

I am kinda shocked that you all don't know about this at OG. (I mean the general you because there are a couple of OGers on this thread.) Field trip vendors are a huge business down here, and which charters offer which vendors and the most funds for the least amount of hoops is one of the biggest topics of conversation on the charter FB groups.

There is definitely a drop off at the high school level re charter use, but I would still say that the vast majority of So Cal homeschoolers are enrolled in charters. If anything, I see that trend increasing. They have become more flexible over the years, and easier to use at the high school level. We will definitely try to stay with our charter (or another charter), if possible. Sure, there are some charters that play loosey-goosey with the rules, but I wouldn't trust those schools with a high schooler, and certainly OG isn't one of them. They are a very reputable and experienced charter.

The bigger issue we are having in the charter school world in So Cal is the influx of religious homeschoolers trying to get their sectarian classes and vendors paid for with charter school dollars. It is out of control down here, people are being dishonest about what they're doing, and it is putting all charter homeschoolers are risk. It used to be that religious homeschoolers would just file a PSA, but the almighty dollar has made it impossible for both vendors and parents to resist the pull of the charter school funds arms race. The charter schools are aware of the issue, but, to date, they have done very little to crack down on it. Hopefully, in this new political environment, they will be more vigilant.   

Edited by SeaConquest
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