Legislative Update: Charter Cap Debate Shifts to SenateThe debate over legislation that would, among other things, lift the cap on charter schools in so-called "underperforming districts," has shifted to the Senate, after House members voted 114 to 35 in favor of the bill. Parents, teachers and others concerned about the negative impact on traditional public schools of lifting the charter cap have been reaching out to their legislators, sharing information on why this would do more harm than good.Now is the time to make your voice heard by calling and/or writing to your legislators, especially your state senator.Contact your senators and urge them to tell Senator Chang-Diaz and Senate President Murray that they oppose H4108, now in Senate Ways and Means, because it includes language to lift the cap on charter schools. Also, contact your own representatives and thank them, if they were one of the 35 who voted no, or express disappointment if they were one of the 114 who voted yes on the bill including the cap increase. You can get contact information (or find out who your legislators are, if you don't know) by clicking here.The AFT Massachusetts has a fact sheet with accurate information on the impact of charter schools that you can use when you call or write. Click here for the fact sheet.Charter schools do not work for most students, as EduShyster points out in"Charter Cap 'n Gown." She reveals the shockingly low charter graduation rate for boys at some of Boston's most celebrated charters. "At the heart of our great debate about how much greater charter schools are than the long-suffering public schools that they are outperforming by every conceivable measure lies a great assumption: that charters represent the best way to propel urban students through the pipeline of college readiness. Except that the pipeline turns out to be of an exceptionally narrow gauge. Take Match Charter Public School, from which six boys graduated last year. You read that correctly, reader. That number was six. Which is the same number of boys who graduated from Codman Academy Charter Public School in 2013. But that's still a bigger number than four, the number of boys who graduated from City on a Hill Charter Public School last year."The way charters affect most students is by taking away money that district schools need to educate their students. As you may have heard, Boston schools are making terrible cuts this year, and one big reason is that more and more of the state aid intended for Boston schools is being diverted to charters.And for more reasons why lifting the cap is a bad idea, read Boston parent and organizer Mary Battenfeld's strong Boston Globe commentary, "State should keep the cap on charters," here. Battenfeld writes that "we're hurtling on unstable rails, headed for a complete wreck of our already underfunded public schools."
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Posted by NBEA