In Massachusetts, there is a bill before the General Court to eliminate or increase the cap on Charter Schools. I don’t know how things go in other parts of the country, but in Massachusetts, Charter Schools pull their funding from the local budget. The currently proposed bill lifts the cap on Charters — further privatizing public education. The following is a letter originally written to my State Representative and State Senator, but truly, it is an open letter to those who are considering this legislation.
I am a citizen of the Commonwealth, and I am asking you NOT to support lifting caps on Charter Schools.
I am a public educator in the Lowell Public Schools. My students are a diverse group from many different native languages, they come from hard-working families and they come from families experiencing social, emotional and financial traumas. Five of the 18 students in my classroom are identified as having special needs. Within this diverse population, there is exciting learning taking place. And here is one of the reasons why I CHOOSE to teach in a public school: unlike a charter, public schools have the mission of educating every student. Shouldn’t education be a right, a given, for our children? We do not hold lotteries to decide who is accepted into our school — we meet the students — all students, not just a selection — wherever they are and move forward. And we are doing this important work with less and less financial resources; resources that are drained by charter schools.
Academic growth, no matter how it is measured is slowly and steadily taking place. I am proud of my school, my colleagues, and my students. They all deserve your support of public education by the defeat of this attack on public education.
Amy E. Bisson