Save Our Public Schools is a grassroots coalition of education, parent, student and community groups that supports quality public schools for all and opposes a November ballot question that would lift the cap on privately run, publicly funded Commonwealth charter schools.
The ballot question would allow the state to approve 12 new Commonwealth charter schools every year forever, eventually draining billions of dollars from our schools and destabilizing our public education system. It would encourage charters to expand into areas where they don’t exist now, taking critical resources away from successful public schools.
This year alone, charters will divert more than $400 million from public schools. That’s money districts desperately need so they can offer more science, technology, arts and music classes, as well as preschool services and smaller class sizes. The money should be kept in the public schools for the benefit of all students.
Charter schools are not accountable to their local communities. The state often approves them over the united opposition of the communities where they will be located. That’s wrong. Local communities should have the final say on what kinds of schools they want.
Charter schools are divisive, creating a two-track system described by the NAACP as “separate and unequal.” They typically underserve English language learners and special needs students, leaving public schools with fewer resources to educate a higher-need population.
Pro-charter groups have millions of dollars from hedge funds and corporate backers. We rely on people power to stand up for the students in our public schools. If some of our public schools are falling short, we should fix them — not keep taking money away and giving it to unaccountable charters.
Save Our Public Schools is a grassroots organization of Massachusetts families, parents, educators and students opposed to the ballot initiative to lift the charter school cap in Massachusetts. The MTA is a leading participant in this campaign, working closely with other members of the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance.