America’s schools spend lots of money, but often, barely educate kids. Our public schools are failing Philadelphia’s failing public school district I went to the neighborhood school Elaine Wells is a mom in Philadelphia. There were fights after school every day. It was horrible. So she walked her son to another school. We went to go enroll and we were told, “No, he can’t go here.” That was my wake up call. She’d discovered that although with most services, we get to shop around, that’s not true for so-called “public schools.” Instead, parents are often stuck with the school the government assigns them. But a new kind of school has been changing that… charter schools. It’s funded with taxpayer money, but Hardy gets to run it largely like a private school. In Philadelphia, David Hardy created a charter he calls Boy’s Latin. It tries new ideas. People in government run schools don’t like to change They also don’t like competition from charters. But charters are often better and parents line up, hoping to get their kids admitted. A lottery will decide which students will stay or go. This lottery was in New York. Congratulations. The winners are ecstatic, but there are many more losers. You’re on pins and needles and you’re hoping and you’re praying A charter school lottery left thousands of Philadelphia students disappointed last night. It’s like, you don’t have a chance. Elaine’s kids lost many lotteries. It’s heartbreaking. [Music] But finally, they were admitted to David Hardy’s school Shirts are tucked in. Yep. That’s important to you. Yeah. And the kids, they don’t mind it? Of course, they mind it. They’re teenage boys. The rules are there to kind of set the stage for the students. If the teacher can tell you to tuck in their shirt, they can tell you to be quiet in class. They can tell you to do your homework. It gives us some authority over the kids. Elaine was so eager for her sons to attend, she arranged to have Ibrahim repeat the 6th grade. I bet you didn’t like that. No, not at all. That’s when I really… that was the moment where I most despised Boys’ Latin in every possible way But their attitudes quickly changed Before Boys Latin I would come home and say, “Okay, I need you to read for an hour, read a book.” And their response would be “Why? What did we do?” Like reading was a punishment. Right. So getting into Boys Latin, I would find books in the bathroom on the floor. Came to the point where the teacher would tell our mom that I’d taken too many books. And then there were strange nighttime phone calls. He’s in his room and I hear him talking on the phone and it was like 10:00 o’clock at night and I’m like “Who are you on the phone with?” And he was like, “Well, Mr. Bumbulsky told me to call him if I needed help with homework.” You thought he was bothering the teacher? Yes. Yes. Another change was the kids spending more time in school. They’re here from 8 am to often 5 pm. And they have to take Latin. It’s ridiculous. Nobody speaks Latin. Well we picked Latin because it was hard. What’s the point of that? Because life is hard — because in order to be prepared you have to work hard. And we wanted to get that into the psyche of our students Do you feel sorry for your friends who are still stuck in the old… Yeah, it’s kind of sad because I’m looking at them like, “What do you mean you’re taking algebra one in senior year? You’re supposed to be taking pre-calc” We deliver. Since the very first class we’ve sent more black boys to college than any high school in Pennsylvania. And yet, now Philadelphia, and many other cities are rejecting new charter applications. Philadelphia rejected David Hardy’s plan to open a Girls’ Latin. You’re succeeding and they’re trying to kill you off Because they realize that if we continue to take children away, they won’t have jobs. Most studies on charters find increases in test scores. Kids don’t learn as well in most government run schools There’s always a reason in a government-run school for not serving kids. They’ll tell you what’s wrong with the kid. They never say “it’s my fault.” Instead – Students are going to march for more funding The government schools say they need more money Members of the Philadelphia teachers union push for more funding More funds? Get this: Philly schools already spend almost $19,000 per child. Do the math, that’s about half a million dollars per classroom. Where does the money go? They have a director of special ed and they have a assistant director a special ed. They may have a director of high school athletics and they have an assistant. And they have all these — a lot of overhead. To preserve their jobs, government teachers now say this: the publicly funded privately managed charter schools drain scarce resources from other public schools. Drain public funds. You can’t tell me that charter schools are taking funding from public schools. Every parent pays taxes. It’s the taxes that we pay that fund the school system. So if my child, If I choose for my child to go to a charter school, then that’s where my taxes should go. That makes sense, but Philadelphia and other cities don’t even give charters the same amount of money they give to schools they control. They give them less. In Philadelphia, only 70% of that. So, the government schools make money whenever a kid leaves for a charter. Over 13 years of schooling, Philadelphia saves $70,000 per child. What if they gave you the difference? Yes, absolutely give them the rest of the money But it would also mean that there would be a whole lot less union jobs. And the unions are not going to be for that. There are bad charters. But bad charters close. Bad public schools don’t close. That’s a big difference. When charters don’t deliver for kids, they go out of business. The government monopoly never goes out of business.