Friday, October 7, 2016

The facts behind the letter...

A frustrated charter school lobbyist mailed a letter to the Courier this week filled with misinformation, after learning that Wareham is one of over 165 school committees opposing Question 2. In contrast to his pitch, here are some facts:

*Charter schools are publicly funded, but are not public. Yes, they serve the public, like a bank or insurance company. Their budgets include public subsidies, as Towneplace Suites does. However, it is not accurate to state that charters are public when they spend money with little public oversight, no public accountability, and when they select their student body by omission.

*Charter schools trigger a tiny, temporary bump in a narrow type of public school funding in some communities. These bridging payments underfunded by the state last a year. The long-term result is less funding for public education. When a house burns down, the insurance check may increase the owner's bank account. That doesn't make it a good way to plan a budget.

*Charter schools claim that more choice is always an improvement. However, they have not offered any new ideas in 7 years, according to the Department of Education, and oppose requirements that they hire qualified teachers or educate all students in a community. It does the children of Wareham and Massachusetts no service to allow a "choice" of an inferior education, with taxpayers footing the bill.

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