“Wait, so why is Question 2 Bad for schools? I don’t understand why teachers are against more schools.”
This idea has surfaced throughout my adventures about town. I’ve talked to other toddler parents at the playground, moms on the block, and parents of school-aged children at weekend play-dates. It is important that everyone fully understand exactly what this question is asking people to vote for.
Here’s the short(ish) version.
Question 2 would allow the cap to be lifted on public funding for more charter schools. To understand what this means, you first need to understand what a charter school is.
A charter school is a publicly funded “private” school that has a special mission. For example, students who attend AMSA have twice as many math and sience classes, and students who attend Seven Hills attend citizenship classes.
To attend a charter school, students need to meet certain grade criteria and sometimes pass an enterance exam. Their parents need to be educated enough to complete the enterance papers; students who need learning and language support are not able to attend. (Translation: ESL and Special Education students cannot apply.) Charter schools have a “seperate” mission, so they don’t have to follow the common core, and students don’t have to complete state exams.
I’m sure that there are reasons to support charter schools, but I can’t speak to any of them.
All that I can see is how much charter schools hurt public education.
Last year, 450 million dollars of state tax dollars collected for education were spent on charter schools, instead of public schools. This means that kids who are in public scools had nearly half a billion dollars less to buy things like new pipes for safe drinking water, math books, qualified teachers, and laptops that work. (I could have a serious rant here about the condition of schools and equipment, and how underfunded we are. But I’m restraining myself. Be proud.) Lifting the cap would mean that the condition of our schools, teachers and materials would only further deteriourate. YIKES.
Because they don’t have to accept those with special language or education needs, charter schools provide a “seperate but unequal” education. Think about it: the more top preforming kids who leave the public education system, the fewer there are in my classroom. At the start of the year, I had about 20% of my students who were identified as having a learning disability; anoterh 20% were identified as needed language support. We’ve already lost two students to charter schools- the more who leave, the higher these percentages “left behind” are. As the top students leave, the middle of the class that I try to teach to becomes lower and lower. YIKES.
Question 2 is bad for public schools. It means that those people who believe in public education are left with less funding, and only the kids who need support. The public schools have less money to pay for things that they need, and budgets are cut even when taxes increase.
This public school teacher, who is sending her kids to public schools, begs you to vote no on 2.