Are Charter School Proponents Taking A Page Out Of The Ray Kroc Book?

Charter School Real Estate Profit

Mention the golden arches, and Americans think about McDonald's and its Big Mac, or perhaps French fries. We may not like them, but we've been trained through commercials and playground rhymes. Who else remembers the hand clapping game?

Big Mac, Filet O' Fish
Quarter Pounder, French Fries
Icy Cokes, thick shakes, sundaes and apple pies!

I bet not a one of you thought real estate.

You'd think that someone who owned the #1 fast food restaurant chain would be 100% focused on providing quality food and excellent service. At worst, they'd be focused on sales, which definitely circles back around to quality and service. While McDonald's founder Ray Kroc's initially started out by marketing the McDonald's assembly line method, Kroc soon found out it wasn't profitable.

Then Kroc met Harry Sonnenborne, a financial genius who showed Kroc how to make money-not by selling hamburgers, but by selling real estate. Under Sonnenborne's plan, Kroc set up a company that would purchase or lease the land on which all McDonald's restaurants would be located. Franchisees then paid Kroc a set monthly rental for the land or a percentage of their sales, whichever was greater. By owning the land the franchises were built on rather than just the franchises themselves, Kroc was guaranteed a profit.

A guaranteed profit?

This sounds like something our charter school proponents are looking for. After all, schools are about making money, not providing a quality education to all children, right?

Apparently, I'm not the only one making this connection.

Read the article below from the Wall Street Journal…

Charter-School Movement Grows-for Real-Estate Investors

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. New niche develops as more charters open doors; some states help with financing Real-estate investors are showing an increasing interest in charter school development as the demand grows for classroom seats and some state and local governments become more willing to help finance charter-school projects.

Want to see an visual representation of this concept? Check out this infographic illustrating why corporations want our public schools

 My question is: Are we going to allow our children's future to be put on an assembly line while investors line their pockets?

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

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