Charter Schools a Vice?

Mary Wiltenburg:

Obama may love charter schools, Georgia may be on the fence, but St. Louis school leaders see charter schools as a vice. While researching our upcoming story about the International Community School and charter school facilities, I learned that last year, as the leaders of St. Louis public schools prepared to sell a bunch of empty school buildings, the district barred certain unwanted buyers: “liquor stores, landfills, distilleries, as well as shops that sell “so-called ‘sexual toys,’ ” writes St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter David Hunn. “They also blackballed charter schools.”
This despite the city’s 17 public charter schools and 9,500 charter students – and eight new charters expected to open by fall 2010 – writes Bill Schulz of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Porn shops and liquor stores and charter schools, oh my!” he quipped.
Huhn reports: ” ‘We tried to buy three,’ said Susan Uchitelle, board member at Confluence Academy, a charter school with three campuses and 2,700 students in St. Louis. ‘We finally just gave up…. It was made very clear they weren’t going to sell to us. They’d show them to us. They’d let us walk through them. But then they’d take them off the market.’ “