While the handful of supporters of Woodland Prep charter school in Washington County insist that all they want is better education opportunities for local students, their actions tell a far different story.
For example, the Oct. 11 edition of The Washington County News has a full page ad announcing an open house at the Woodland Prep construction site on Oct 17. Those who attend will see that progress is being made on the school and will learn how Woodland Prep’s curriculum will differ from the one now offered by local public schools.
But a bold headline at the bottom of the page let’s the cat out of the bag as to what is really going on. It proclaims:
Free Tuition! To anyone who lives in Washington County.
Charter schools are so-called public schools funded with taxpayer dollars. Public schools do not charge tuition. Period.
So how the heck do you have “free tuition” when there is no tuition? They might as well be offering “free air” to any student.
It is another marketing gimmick, probably hatched up by their PR guy, Jon Gray, from Mobile. It is an attempt to convince people that Woodland Prep is really a private school paid for with public dollars.
But the real message in this ad is that Woodland Prep is a BUSINESS VENTURE and has precious little to do with education. It is all about Soner Tarim of Houston and American Charter Development of Utah trying to get money our of Alabama taxpayers. If this school was all it is supposedly cracked up to be, why are Tarim and ACD trying so desperately to round up students so Woodland Prep can open its doors and get money from the state? Why have they paid “recruiters” to scour the county in hopes of enrolling students?
In Alabama, business recruitment is handled by the Commerce Department, while schools are the domain of the state department of education. But once again, Woodland Prep supporters show that they don’t understand the difference.