Charters Schools are privately managed entities whose only claim to the word public is the fact that they drain public funds. Dozens of court cases have ruled that charter schools are not "public entities." Two well known examples include the following:
The California Court of Appeals (2007-01-10) which ruled that charter-voucher schools are NOT "public agents."
The 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals (2010-01-04) which ruled that charter-voucher schools are NOT "public actors."
Moreover, the US Census Department expressed difficulty in obtaining information from charter-voucher schools because the aren't public entities.
I understand in the light of all the scandals and bad press (http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com) that supporters of lucrative charters are desperate to paint them as public schools, but outside the corporate spin cycle that is the the school privatization camp, charters have been found to be anything but public. Charters are one in the same with the 501C3s or other organizations running them. Here is an excerpt from one of the court cases cited above:
"The Court determined the charter schools did not qualify as "public entities" under the CFCA. (Id. at p. 1203, 48 Cal.Rptr.3d 108, 141 P.3d 225.) Because they competed with the traditional schools for students and funding, neither did the Court find them to be "governmental entities" exempt from the UCL's restrictions on their competitive practices."
The language court use is precise and unambiguous. Charter charlatans have created a lucrative quasi-public market niche. The schools are public so long as they can garner public funds and cash in on lucrative real estate deals. However, as soon as a family, community member, educator, or other persons outside of those profiting form charters need to seek legal or civil remedies against the charter school sector, then they are conveniently NOT public entities. Charters. No oversight, no democratic controls, but lots of opportunities for swindlers to make boatloads of cash and plutocrats to push propaganda instead of pedagogy.
We need those funds to be used for public schools, with democratically elected school boards that are answerable to the communities in which they operate.