In Massachusetts there is big debate brewing around raising the current charter school cap. It is on the ballot for November 2nd. “The ballot question could allow charters to expand into areas where they don’t exist now, taking millions of dollars away from successful district public schools. Under the proposed ballot question, 12 new charter schools enrolling up to 1 percent of the school-age population could be approved every year, forever, with no limit. These charters could open anywhere in the state, and there are no restrictions on how many charter schools could be opened in a single community or how much money any one district could lose to these new charter schools. The amount of money lost will grow: $100 million more the first year, more than $200 million the next year, more than $300 million the year after that, crippling our school system with every passing year.” (saveourpublicschoolsma.com)
DEY’s National Advisor, Ruth Rodriguez-Fay has written a public letter to Governor Baker of Massachusetts. We have included a few snippets below, and invite you to read the entire letter here. If you are resident of Massachusetts, we strongly urge you to vote no on question 2.
The people of the Commonwealth wait for your leadership to protect our most sacred institution, our public schools. We look for your assurance to families that you will use the power to make every public school the quality every child deserves. We have followed your campaign promoting charter schools, while portraying the public schools as failing. The “failing” based solely on a test designed with a 60% failing rate. You have shown disrespect to the thousands of teachers, families and students that have been at the helm of a system that prior to the privatization reforms, enjoyed the admiration of the nation and the world.
There are unconfirmed reports that the people behind Question 2 are some of the same who contributed to your candidacy for Governor; and they expect something in return. It is no secret that investors have found quite profitable the Charter School Enterprise. Why, we even have foreign companies investing in charter schools. Perhaps you might want to encourage them of a more just and equitable way to help the children of the Commonwealth.
Finally, I humbly suggest that you listen to the advice of Juvenile Court Judges that since the implementation of the MCAS as a high school graduation requirement, and the zero-tolerance policies of the Charter Schools, have witnessed a rise in their courts of majority Black and Latino youths, and over 90% failed the test. This is a classic example of what we have come to see as the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
Again, consider making every school the quality school that every child deserves, not just the lottery lucky ones,
For more information check out the Save Our Public Schools website: https://saveourpublicschoolsma.com/