Andre Agassi on his charter school plans

In a weekend interview with The New York Times, former tennis star Andre Agassi elaborated on the motivation for his plans to finance the construction of as many as 75 charter schools in the United States during the next several years:

Every school, I will partner with the best in-class operators, so these won’t be Agassi schools. Now charter schools as a whole aren’t necessarily high performing because there are so many mom-and-pop shops, but the top 10 percent, the best in-class charter school operators, are incredibly high performing. So what we want to do is help them expand their footprint, and one of the single greatest impediments to the growth of charter schools are not the software, not the children or the teachers. It’s the facilities themselves. Operators cannot access public dollars in a charter school space to build their facility, but the money from that state is allocated to those children if they go to a charter school. So if you can find a way to actually build the facilities and find a way to actually create a return for investors, you have now access to a pool of resources that has traditionally never been invested in the space. So it’s very innovative, it’s very visionary and it’s incredibly timely.

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BY Adam Emerson

Editor of redefinED, policy and communications guru for Florida education nonprofit