Southborough, MA — More than 100 democratically elected Massachusetts school committees have now voted to oppose Question 2, the ballot question that would allow significant expansion of privately run charter schools anywhere in the state, take millions of dollars away from successful local district public schools, and cause the elimination of music and art programs, increased class sizes, and other damaging cuts in the schools that most families choose.
Thanks to the Massachusetts Democratic Committee for passing the following resolution overwhelmingly on Tuesday, August 17. Here’s the text of the resolution:
Democratic State Committee Resolution Regarding Question 2
WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Democratic Party platform states that “Massachusetts Democrats are committed to investing in public education”; and
WHEREAS, the national Democratic Party platform states that charter schools “should not replace or destabilize traditional public schools”; and
WHEREAS, more than $400 million in taxpayer money was diverted to charter schools statewide last year from local school districts, forcing cuts to programs that families and students value; and
WHEREAS, charter schools typically serve far fewer special needs students, English language learners and economically disadvantaged students than the traditional public school districts they are located in and use hyper-disciplinary policies and suspensions for minor infractions to push out students; and
WHEREAS, charter schools use public funds, but local communities and their school committees have no control over their design, approval, operation or renewal; and
WHEREAS, Question 2 on the November 2016 ballot would allow the state to approve 12 new charters schools a year, every year, forever, with no limit on how much money a single district could lose; and
WHEREAS, this would nearly triple the number of charter schools in just ten years and take away more than $1 billion a year from our local public schools within several years; and
WHEREAS, the Question 2 campaign is funded and governed by hidden money provided by Wall Street executives and hedge fund managers; and
WHEREAS, the unfettered expansion of charter schools, at the expense of local district public schools, that would occur if Question 2 passes is clearly at odds with the national and state party platforms, and would lead Massachusetts in the wrong direction;
THEREFORE, let it be resolved that the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee opposes Question 2→ Read More
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) says 32,600 in the headline of its press release.
But DESE’s own report (linked from http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/enrollment/fy2017Waitlist.html) gives 23,601 as the number of students who applied to charter schools this year and did not get seats.
It’s clear from the report that even this figure is much higher than the actual number relevant to any discussion about the charter school ballot question, probably several thousand too high.
What’s more, DESE apparently has the data needed to tabulate the true number, but has not released it.
Rolled Over, Not Rolled Over, Partly Rolled Over
DESE’s release is headlined “State Estimates 32,600 Students Remain on Charter School Waitlists.” That’s the number news media used.
But a spreadsheet in the report gives 23,601 as the number who applied this year and didn’t get in, for both Horace Mann and Commonwealth charters. → Read More
Help us spread the #keepthecap message next week!
CPS is proud to participate with the Save Our Public Schools campaign in a Week of Action from June 6 to 10. Each day of the week, we’ll support public schools for all and oppose efforts to lift the cap on charter schools. Here are some ways to get involved:
Monday, June 6: Keep It Local
Highlight the importance of local control. More than 50 communities are on record in opposition to a charter cap lift. Is your school committee one of them? If yes, say thank you. If not, ask them to get on board. Click here for a list of communities that have passed resolutions. Here’s a sample resolution.
Tuesday, June 7: Stick to Public Schools (Sticker Day)
Wear a “Save Our Public Schools” sticker, hold a sign, take a selfie and post.
Get your creative juices flowing! Use whatever you have on hand to spread the #keepthecap message during the Week of Action and beyond. → Read More
CPS has a new, detailed and downloadable fact sheet (with references) about charter schools in Massachusetts. It includes solid information about charters’ impact on local school budgets, who is included and who is excluded, waitlist numbers, and discipline practices. Click HERE to read and download and then share the information with your friends, neighbors and elected representatives! → Read More