In February, the Einstein Montessori School in Orlando became a casualty of the charter school experiment. State officials closed the school that had 40 students ranging from third through eighth grade. The school promoted itself as a specialty institution for dyslexic students but teachers told media outlets that there was no curriculum in place, no computers and no school library. Despite these and other red flags the school remained in operation longer than it should have because Florida law currently only allows for immediate school closures for safety, welfare and health issues.
Of course parents of the students at the school are outraged but so are taxpayers. Einstein Montessori received close to $165,000 in state money for operations – money that cannot be recovered or redirected. That number is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the total $287 million in state money that four failed Orlando-area charter schools received in recent years. Consider what that number looks like on a state scale. Now consider it on a national level. With stories like the failure of Einstein Montessori in the headlines, it is no wonder parents and other community members angrily attend charter school meetings and protest against their opening.