Special Reports

Massachusetts 'Charter School No Vote': Making Charter System Accountable And Not An Expansion


Massachusetts voters on ballot Question 2 reject the policy to add 12 charter schools annually, contrary to the "yes" campaign of Gov. Charlie Baker. The negative votes come mostly from charter schools like Somerville, Easthampton, Hadley, South Hadley,  Holyoke and Greenfield with a margin of 70-30.

The state shoulders school districts' full pupil revenue lost to charters only in the first year and 25 percent in the next five years thereafter. The had to reduce 12.5 teachers to make the fiscal 2016 budget sufficient. Cheshire Elementary School might have to be shut down that angered residents willing to pay more taxes.

It is evident then that charter schools are taking money from what could be the state's budget for the public school systems. Public schools operators can only watch the money go out.

Julia Bowen, Executive Director of BArT, suggested that the state can reimburse for the students they lost to charter schools to avoid tension during the transition period. She believes that families should have a choice between the two systems without jeopardizing the existence of public schools.

It might not be true in general sense but almost all who voted against Question 2 are places with public schools losing federal budget to charter schools. Easthampton leads the opposition in the Massachusetts municipalities - 76.2 percent voted " No," (7,324 ) versus 2,290 "Yes" votes.

Community members as well as parents, prefer to improve existing public schools rather than add up more charter schools. Converting public school facilities into charter schools are also not favored, according to Mass Live.

Many believe that raising the cap for students loans and increasing the number of charter schools are not the ultimate solutions for America's educational problems. It should be about establishing the right sources for the funding of charter schools than to get it from public schools and installing systems that can enhance accountability.

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