The controversy about the cap on charter schools is heating up again. An email that is representative of those I have been receiving appears further below.
I’m waiting to see what comes out of the Education Committee — the devil is in the details — but here are a few thoughts about where I am on the issue:
- I got into politics as a young parent concerned about the quality of local public schools, working to raise funding.
- As I consider school system issues, I listen carefully to the perspectives of both parents and teachers coming from the front line, but where those perspectives diverge, I weight the perspective of parents most heavily.
- I don’t see charter schools in ideological terms — they are just another form of public school. Shifting resources among public schools is a management decision that we should approach with great sensitivity, as children are involved and stability matters, but we shouldn’t be afraid of change.
- Generally, from Boston parents, I’ve heard a lot of passion for new options in the form of charters and I can never say no to that passion — parents know best what their kids need. I have been willing to vote for charter expansion in the past and am prepared to do so in the future if the terms of the package look right.
- I definitely agree with one element in the email below: There is no substitute for adequate resources in schools and the debate this year about charters will overlap with both the tussle about resources among schools in the Boston system this year and the larger struggle to assure adequate education resources. As a legislator, I always make additional school resources a priority — so we have a bigger pie to slice among the schools in the system.
Sample email from a teacher
I’m writing today to ask you to please keep the cap on charter schools.
As a Boston Public School teacher, I can see that our schools are struggling financially and to allow more charter schools will drain precious resources from our schools. Our public schools need the investments in order to get the best curriculum materials and technology that would enhance student learning. Budget cuts will hurt our kids.
Please keep the cap on charter schools and support all the school children throughout Commonwealth.
Thank you for your support!