To: Rep. Alice Peisch (MA-110) and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (MA-33)
Adequate Funding for Public Education and Maintaining the Charter Cap.
Inadequate funding of public education is eroding the ability of municipal school boards across the Commonwealth to provide quality education to every student in public schools, as is their right.
In the Boston Public Schools, the majority of 128 schools face significant cuts in staff, in programs and in resources to support the education of more than 57,000 of our children. The $87.5 million in aid given to two-dozen charter schools in the city of Boston contribute to these losses. (This is especially concerning as it is 42% of the total amount of Chapter 70 aid given to the city, despite the fact that 75% of all school aged k-12 students attend BPS.) We are concerned about these losses, as well as a number of other issues related to the strengthening of a separate system of schools, one that does not equally serve the needs of all children.
We respectfully request the following:
- The cap on the number of charter schools in the commonwealth should remain in place until the consequences to traditional public school districts, financial and otherwise, have been more clearly understood.
- Full reimbursements, as stipulated under Chapter 46, must be made to cities for losses due to charter schools. (This year only 63% of reimbursements were made, leading to a $28 million shortfall across the state, and a $10 million shortfall in Boston.)
- Improved Systems of accountability must be put into place to assure that charter schools successfully serve the needs of all children, including English language learners and those with special needs and to assure that charters serve their intended purpose to supplement, not supplant, district schools.
Why is this important?
QUEST (Quality Education for Every Student) is a group of parents who have come together to fight for quality, equity and transparency in the Boston Public Schools. We can be found on facebook at facebook.com/questbps and can be reached at [email protected].