State senators will vote this week on a bill that addresses the issue of Commonwealth charter schools, and they need to hear from MTA members right away to ensure that public education and the interests of educators and students are protected. Please send a message to your state senator by clicking here.
Here is the background on the MTA's position.
Well-financed supporters of charter school expansion are backing a ballot question that would allow up to 12 new charter schools each year anywhere in the state. The MTA is part of the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance, a coalition of community groups, parents and unions that came together to take on the many issues challenging our public schools: lack of funding, high-stakes testing, a rigid accountability regime, and Commonwealth charter school expansion. The coalition has organized a campaign called Save Our Public Schools to fight the ballot question.
The MTA supports reform of Commonwealth charter schools, but opposes lifting the cap on charter schools because, among other issues, they drain resources from local districts, leading to the destabilization of public schools. Click here to see how much districts are losing.
Governor Charlie Baker is seeking a legislative compromise to avoid a ballot fight in the November election. A group of senators appointed by Senate President Stanley Rosenberg unveiled a bill last week that includes some Commonwealth charter school reforms, but also includes a cap lift tied to funding and expanded state intervention through the school accountability system.
While many of the proposed reforms and potential funding increases are long overdue, the cap lift and school accountability measures included in their proposal are unacceptable.
Given the reaction of charter proponents to the bill, it is clear that some of these reforms would help level the playing field. As the bill moves through the legislative process, however, we need to make sure that any cap lift compromise is ultimately defeated.
All this makes it crucial that state senators hear from MTA members today.
Please click here to join your fellow MTA members in making our voices heard.