MA Stops Charter School Expansion

Clawson, Dan & Fitzgerald, John

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/01/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21515

Despite their $24 million, the charter forces - which in March had more than a 20-point lead in the polls - lost by an amazing 24 points, 62% to 38%.



Charters insist on being called "public" charter schools, an indication of the fact that public schools are widely supported. Charters are "public" in the same sense as defense contractors or for-profit nursing homes are: most of their money comes from the government.

If you believe test scores, Massachusetts has the best schools in the country. Except for the charter schools, the teachers are entirely unionized. A corporate victory in Massachusetts would have sent a message to the entire country that no one was safe; the grassroots victory sends a counter-message that people value and will defend their public schools.

Massachusetts has tightly regulated the number of charter schools. There is a cap on the number of schools that can be opened, a single state authority that must approve any new charter, and an additional cap on the amount of money any district can be required to use to fund charters. When charter forces were unable to get the legislature to "lift the cap," they initiated a referendum campaign and put the measure on this November's ballot.
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