Results of Workshop for Southern Regional Education Board

I delivered a new workshop based on my new book,Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining and Refreshing Highly Effective Educators at the SREB Conference in Baltimore. Here are a few of the attendees comments:

Franklin brings experience and years of wisdom to the session. Superintendent, Demopolis,AL

I want to buy your new book. Assistant Principal, Cabot, AR

Outstanding, Superintendent, Ft. Cobb, OK

I loved Franklin’s honesty and passion.  Assistant Principal, Duncan SC

Gave a perspective on the reasons for teacher dropouts. Assistant Principal, Columbia, SC

Opened my eyes to REAL numbers that are currently happening in 2019. Assistant Principal, Mt. Pleasant, SC

I loved the way he engaged the group. Very informative and thought provoking, J. Wilmoth, , Durant High School, Durant IA

Love the data presented. Asst. Principal, Reidgeland, SC

The concept of exit and stay in interviews was very interested. This is data we need to build very effective supports. Lead Coordinator, WVDE, Charleston, WV

Ideas about how to keep teachers in classroom. Very informative session from a proven practitioner. He needs more time. Charles D. Gregory Sr. Principal, Anniston, Al

Franklin’s program provided additional insight to why teachers leave the profession for my research. Teacher, Kingstree SC

Eye opening statistics with realistic solutions. It’s critical that we recruit, retain and refresh teachers today for our tomorrow. DR. J. Pesinski, Assistant Principal, Rock Hill SC

You provided my voice to all the administrators in the room. H.Newton, Teacher, Willard, OH

Presentation style was enjoyable. Assistant Director, Perrysburg, OH

Franklin’s engaging and is very knowledgeable! I enjoyed listening to him. L. Prye, CTE Coordinator, Mexico,NY

Very informative,. Keep being honest and open. M. Broxton, Assistant Principal, Sandersville, GA

Provided great statistics/facts. Middle School, Assistant Principal, India Land, SC

I liked the data shared. Assistant Principal, North Charleston, SC


Switzerland joins the list of countries looking for teachers

According to the 2018 Swiss Education Report, Switzerland joins the list of growing numbers of industrialized nations looking for teachers. The report indicates that Switzerland is in need of 10,000 additional teachers a year. The shortage includes 7,000 teachers at the primary level and more than 3,000 at the secondary level. The teacher shortage is severe in the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Aargau, and Valais.

What has caused the shortage?

It isn’t salaries. According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD) Switzerland’s primary teachers’ salaries are double the average salaries of USD. The picture is similar at the upper secondary level. That is the highest salary in the OECD countries.

Teacher retirements. Teachers who work part-time so that they can take care of their own children. Women who work are doing so three days a week. Switzerland has a high rate of teachers working part time compared to other countries. Around 70% teachers in Switzerland work part time as compared to 22% in the United Kingdom and 38% in Germany.

The shortage of teachers in the world and what can be done to slow the educational exodus is discussed in much greater detail in my soon-to-be released book, Who Will Teach the Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators.




Understanding the Causes of Teenage Suicide

My article, Understanding the Causes of Teenage Suicide has been published by the Learning Counsel.

  • Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among 10-24 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • In the next 24 hours, 1,439 will attempt suicide.
  • As many as 1/2 millions adolescents made a serious, yet unsuccessful attempt to kill themselves last year.
  • The fastest-growing group completing suicide is children between the ages of 10 and 14.
  • This is the first of two articles to be published by the Learning Counsel on the topic.

The rest of the article can be found at


Incarceration costs vs. K-12 school costs

Incarceration costs equal $292,000 per prisoner and K-12 school costs equal $159,848. That makes K-12 schooling $132,296 cheaper.

Other than dollar costs, school dropouts are more likely to be on welfare, commit crimes, live a life in poverty, and marry poor.

It makes dollar sense as well as common sense to educate.


Preventing School Dropouts

An article I have written lists my 12 favorite books on preventing school dropouts.

What are the costs of school dropouts?

A study out of Northeastern University found that high school dropouts cost taxpayers $292,000 over the course of their lives. It’s not just about the money, though. Over 80 percent of the incarcerated population is high school dropouts— making this an issue that truly impacts every member of the community.

School dropouts are more likely to be on welfare, commit crimes, live a life in poverty, and marry poor.


Education as a cost

It is interesting that conservative government politicians and certain segments of the population see education as a cost but not incarceration which is 10 times more expensive.


Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education And America’s Public Schools

People nominated and confirmed to be in the President’s cabinet are supposed to represent ALL of the people in the country, not just those with vested interests. This has not been the case with Betsy DeVos. Ms. DeVos has every right as a private citizen to lobby for her views on public education. She does not have the right to serve as a lobbyist for charter schools at the expense of public schools.

There are numerous examples of this:

  • DeVos recently made headlines when she attempted to cut the Department of Education’s funding for Special Olympics only to have the decision reversed by the White House. President Trump countermanded Ms. DeVos recommendation of eliminating funding for the Special Olympics which provides 272,000 students with disabilities with athletic opportunities at school. Her proposal would eliminate $17 million.
  • Neither Ms. DeVos, her husband or her children attended public schools. Ms. DeVos has literally spent millions of dollars lobbying for charter schools. While she has recommended huge cuts in overall education spending, she has requested a $517 million increase in funding for charter as well as private-school vouchers and an additional $1 billion for local districts to implement “open enrollment” programs allowing student to attend any area public school, as well as charters and to take state and federal funds with them.
  • The Democrats has requested spending $100 billion to fix up crumbling schools. DeVos has prioritized charter and private-school vouchers at the expense of traditional public schools while cutting over $7 billion for the Department of Education overall.
  • For the third straight year, the Trump administration has proposed a cut in funding for the U.S. Department of Education.
  • She has expanded on her ideas of budget cuts in the US Department of Education while at the same time requesting additional funds for charter schools.
  • She has made misstatements that increased school spending hasn’t helped students, but there is substantial research that indicates increased spending has resulted in better academic outcomes.
  • Educational spending in inflation adjusted dollars has remained relatively flat. While federal spending has increased, Some states have cut spending.
  • She suggested that American education has gotten worse since 1979. But nationally fourth-and eighth grade test scores as well as high school graduation rates have generally risen.
  • She says we need better prepared teachers, but her Fiscal Year 2020 budget requested a cut of more than $4 billion K-12 education programs that support education professional development. At the same time, she has requested more than $5 billion for school vouchers.
  • According to an article in the New York Times Magazine: ““The DeVos family, owners of the largest charters lobbying organization has showered Michigan Republican candidates and organizations with impressive and near-unprecedented amounts of money this campaign cycle: 1.45 million in June and July alone- over a seven-week period.”
  • There isn’t any oversight to Michigan’s spending. By 2000, Michigan had 184 charter schools, third after Arizona and California. According to a NY Times Magazine article, “Michigan has gone from being fairly average state in elementary and math achievement to the bottom 10 states. A 2017 Stanford University study found that increasing charter school enrollment in a school district has done little to improve achievement gaps.
  • The Detroit Free Press (January 18, 2017) conducted a yearlong investigation and published in June 2014 which showed that Michigan taxpayers invested nearly $1 billion a year into charter schools. The newspaper viewed two decades of charter school records and found wasteful spending and double dipping by school board members, school founder and employees steering lucrative contracts to themselves.
  • Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn highlighted an inspector general study that stated that closed charter schools stated that $1 billion in federal funding was wasted on charter schools that never opened or were closed to mismanagement.
  • A 2016 review commissioned by the National Education Policy Center found that Michigan’s per-pupil spending has fallen in Midwestern states from the middle to near the bottom.

Our education budget is a reflection of our values. In an era where we need to have globally competitive schools, safe schools, schools where the ceilings do not leak, where floor titles are not cracked, where paint is not cracking, where water is fit to drink and where teachers are paid a living wage, money should not be siphoned off from public funds into private pockets.

For more of Franklin’s thoughts, see




Mixed feelings about Charter Schools

I have mixed feelings about charter schools.

On the positive side:

  • they provide another road to graduation for children who may need an alternative choice.
  • Some children may want and need a vocational training that they cannot receive at their traditional neighborhood school.
  • They tend to serve minority communities where schools may be low performing.
  • They have enormous flexibility.
  • They educate six percent of the student population but are 1/3 of US New and World Reports top 100 schools.
  • They have been supported by both Republican and Democrat presidents including George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump

On the negative side:

  • They take students and funds from traditional schools.
  • In some states, there has been limited or no oversight.
  • Some of them have closed in the middle of the school year, leaving students and parents scrambling to find other schools. In 2014, the Naples Florida Daily News reported that 14 charter schools had closed before finishing the first year.
  • Teachers have limited security because many of them are hired for one year.
  • There isn’t any union protection because there aren’t any unions.
  • Teachers and administrators are leaving more quickly than traditional educators.
  • Minority teachers are leaving more quickly than traditional educators.
  • Many of them are operated by for-profit businesses generating large profits for their owner by using computers in place of live teachers therefore limiting student interaction or the ability to question.

Charter schools are taxpayer financed schools run under a contract or charter issued by the local community or the state. Some are run by public school districts; others are run by private, for-profit businesses. Using National Center for Educational Statistics, (NCES) there were 6,900 charter schools in 45 states and Washington DC. They are free to experiment with different techniques. As originally envisioned, these schools would serve as “learning laboratories” where best practices could then be replicated by other schools. By and large, this has not been true.

I do support alternative education having worked in a non-traditional career and technical school. But for-profit schools should profit students, parents and society and not business people who wish to profit on the backs of children. Charter school operators include real estate investors who buy or rent existing properties such as empty supermarkets and then rent them to charter schools at a profit. In Ohio, which has a large number of charter schools, the largest one (ECOT- Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) with 12,000 online students was shut down after reporting suspicious attendance figures. Ohio spent nearly $10.4 billion in state taxpayer money including lottery money between mid-2016 and mid 2017. (Cincinnati Enquirer, May 19, 2018, Jessie Blamert) About $929 million of that, about 9 percent went to charter schools. ECOT received $104.3 million of that amount. An audit of the 2015-2016 school year found that ECOT was receiving money for 9,000 students without proof that those students existed or were learning anything. According to the article in the Enquirer, large donations had been made to politicians in Ohio by ECOT officials. White Hat Management, another charter school operation, had the thirty-two of the lowest performing schools in Ohio.

Not all charter schools are low performing. The KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) and Success Academy Charter Schools are outstanding examples of charter schools’ success. There are 224 KIPP schools in 29 states plus Washington DC. It is the largest charter network with almost 100,000 students. Eighty-two percent of KIPP graduates go onto college.  The Success Academy Charter Schools operate in the New York area with 47 schools. In Albuquerque NM, the Robert F. Kennedy Charter Schools under the guidance and direction of Principal Robert Baade is a Title1 charter school.

I do not have a problem with the concept of charter schools. I do have a problem when there is a limited or lack of oversight by the state or local school agencies.

When schools experiment; some will fail. Betsy DeVos, US Secretary of Education who is a proponent and operator of charter schools in the state of Michigan. (More in a subsequent article.)



Speaking for Children and Parents of Incarcerated Families

I recently was honored to speak for Wings for L..I.F.E which is an empowerment program that provides life skills, education and training for children and family members of prisoners and at-risk youth. I spoke about Creating Safe Schools, bullying and preventing school dropouts.

  • Children whose parents are incarcerated are bullied more frequently than most students.
  • The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation’s prisons, a 500% increase over the last 30 years. (The Sentencing Project, 2015)
  • 1 in 35 adults in the United States are under some form of correctional control. Currently 100 million people (1 in 3 U.S. adults) have a criminal conviction that impacts their employability and future. (New Mexico Prison Population Forecast, 2015)
  • 95% of offenders will be released back into the community and of those, 75% will return to incarceration within 5 years. (U.S. Justice Dept.)
  • Nationally the female population has been the fastest growing correctional population, increasing by an average of 3.4% annually. (NM Prison Population Forecast, July 2015)
  • Children of prisoners are up to 72% more likely to become incarcerated themselves.
  • New Mexico is 3rd in U.S. for kids with imprisoned parents. 52,000+ children in NM (about 10% of NM’s child population) have had a parent in jail/prison. (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2016)
  • Of the 10% of New Mexico children with an incarcerated parent, 19% are Native American and 11% are Hispanic. (, 2015)
  • The annual cost to incarcerate one juvenile in New Mexico is approximately $182,000 compared to the lowest, $46,662 in Louisiana, and the highest, $352,663 in New York. (Albuquerque Journal, 2015)
  • In comparison, New Mexico spends $7,933 annually on education per child and nationally $11,014. (National Center for Education Statistic, 2015)

Comments included:

Franklin Schargel is not only an expert in his field, but is witty, funny and very engaging. He is an excellent public speak who is very knowledgeable and keeps the audience totally involved.

Bless you for caring like you do.

If you would like Franklin to speak to your group about this vital topic, contact him at






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