Monday, March 24, 2014

0 Massachusetts Families and Students to Protest the Joint Education Committee Proposal to Lift the Cap for Charter Schools


Massachusetts Families and Students to Protest the Joint Education Committee Proposal to Lift the Cap for Charter Schools

Boston, MA—On March 25, a broad based coalition of public education stakeholders made up of families, students, educators, community members and groups representing schools throughout the Commonwealth, will come together at the Massachusetts State House to protest the announcement made Saturday, March 22, 2014 that a compromise negotiated by Sen. Chang-Diaz and Rep. Russell Holmes will allow the cap on the number of Charter Schools to increase in Massachusetts under Senate Bill 235/House Bill 425 “An Act to Further Narrow the Achievement Gap.”

DATE: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
TIME: 4:30pm
LOCATION: Massachusetts State House (front steps)

Too often, public schools are subject to budget cuts and privatization partially due to the opening of charter schools.  While it is widely accepted that charter schools are also public, charter school administrators themselves argue that the schools are private entities*.  We are not “anti-charter” or seeking the elimination of charter schools. Rather, we are requesting that our elected officials work with us to ensure that the multiple inequalities and issues already identified within the current charter schools in Massachusetts be thoroughly examined and addressed prior to any legislation going forward allowing the opening of more charter schools in Massachusetts. 

We are requesting that the Joint Education Committee, at a minimum, do the following:
  •         Remove charter school language entirely from Senate Bill 235/House Bill 425 “An Act to Further Narrow the Achievement Gap;”
  •         Prior to any consideration of raising the charter school cap read the soon-to-be released audit from the State Auditor’s Office regarding charter school finances and practices;
  •         Work with constituents to draft a more comprehensive proposal regarding the charter school cap.  This proposal must address the inequalities already identified, include clear and quantifiable accountability measures that are put into place prior to such legislation being proposed, and explore more equitable or separate funding methods that do not bankrupt our public schools.

In Boston, the stakeholders have come together to build a new vision for our schools and our children—one that champions great public schools as the heart of our neighborhoods and ensures that every student, regardless of need level, receives the highest quality education available. Our stakeholders have developed a community driven movement for the benefit of our students.  This is in order to hold all of our elected officials accountable to us as their constituents and voters.  Campaign donors, foundations and corporations are not advocating for our children, but for their own bottom lines.  As a result, they will continue to back charter schools, privatization and testing.  Our state legislators must not back them.

We, have come together to do the real student and parent engagement necessary in our city and state. On Tuesday, we will be letting those who continue to make choices against the best interest of all of our students and the wishes of their constituency know that this practice will not be tolerated.

 Contact:              Karen Kast-McBride, Community Organizer

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