Superintendent Jim Carr was contacted for comment on charter schools during peresonal time on spring break this week. As a local adjunct to Larry Lee’s article, he was asked his opinion of charter schools, both in the abstract and as a possible mechanism to further education in Blount County. These were his thoughts.
“I don’t see how we can support charter schools if we’re not funding public schools adequately in the first place. You know, last year was the first year we gained students in the Blount County system and actually lost funding as a result of proration.
“This year, they’re going to reduce funding again, plus however much charter schools may further affect it. It’s just idiotic to throw money at something that hasn’t been proven to work.
“I couldn’t support it at all unless a separate funding stream was set up for it that didn’t reduce public school funding, and even then, I’d question it. Nobody has proven to me that charter schools work any better than public schools. If there was convincing proof that they work, then we might set up a pilot program somewhere to evaluate it.
“As it is, I have to be completeSee ly against it.”