“If we learn from (KIPP’s expansion), then it will be great for the district,” said HISD trustee Harvin Moore, a former KIPP board member. “If we continue to treat them as if it’s us against them and make excuses for why they do better than some public schools, then we won’t learn from them.”HISD school board President Manuel Rodríguez Jr. said he wishes philanthropists would invest their money in the traditional public school system.
“This is private monies, and I’m sorry they’re not coming to the public school system,” he said. “It would be my hope that all the different facets of the community could come together and work to make the public school system better.”
While charter schools are public schools, Rodríguez contends that they don’t face the same funding shortages, high number of state and federal mandates, or struggles to get parents involved as HISD.
I understand the issues concerning parental involvement and having to provide services to special need students works to the advantage of charter schools and disadvantage of public schools. But I think Harvin Moore has a point. Go to the KIPP Houston webpage and you’ll see one of the major navigation buttons is “Support KIPP” which then has six sub-menus. If you want to donate money, they make it as easy as possible for you.
Now go to the Houston ISD webpage and try to figure out where to donate money to the district. The one link on the front page, Donors Choose, is not a specific program for HISD. Try to figure out how to give the district money. As far as I can tell, there isn’t an education foundation devoted strictly to the district.
So the first lesson I think HISD can learn from KIPP is that if you want “private monies,” I suggest you make it easy for people to give. Whining isn’t go to get you anywhere.