BY BUDDY NEVINS
All those self-important school bosses clustered around the coffee machine take notice:
Parents have had enough.
They are voting with their feet.
Charter schools welcomed 4,229 more students this year than last.
The traditional public system saw a decrease of 2,896.
About 13 percent of all public school students (Yes, charters are technically public schools.) now attend charter schools. That figure is growing every year.
I believe I know why.
An obvious reason is discipline. Some Broward schools make “Blackboard Jungle” look like a Disney movie. Disruptive children deprive all kids of the chance to learn.
I don’t blame teachers for the lack of discipline in some schools. I blame bad parents. Discipline should start at home.
Charters don’t put up with discipline problems, which parents love.
Another big reason parents love charters is the arrogance of those who run the regular schools.
Parents are sick of being brushed off and browbeat by petty bullies with lifetime jobs.
They are the customers of the schools. They want to be treated like valued customers.
If a customer gets shabby treatment at a restaurant, she goes to the restaurant down the block. If a parent gets shabby treatment in the front office of her child’s public school, she can now go to a charter school.
Superintendent Robert Runcie should get his staff and principals lessons in sensitivity and tact.
When I worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the parents’ number one beef was that they were tut-tutted or ignored by school higher ups. The complaints were about principals, the downtown paper-pushers and the School Board.
Former School Board Member Bob Parks actually had the audacity to bark at one group of parents that he didn’t have to listen to them because they lived outside his district.
Parents without the money for private school had no choices a few years ago. They had to take whatever guff was thrown at them by the school system.
They don’t have to take it anymore.
That’s why 15 new charter schools opened this month.
(Personal disclosure: My wife works at a local charter school.)