Currently, charters schools are allowed to take up 18% of a school districts budget. A new ballot measured has been filed that would allow for 12 new charter schools a year above and beyond their current allowances.
The governor is also going to file legislation to lift the charter cap. And well-heeled lawyers (whose children most certainly are not in public schools) have promised to sue if the charter cap is not lifted.
This is a coordinated attack on our schools system and can lead to the dismantling of BPS if parents do not fight back.
You might think:
BUT my kid goes to a good public school. This most certainly won’t affect them, right?
The problem with charter schools is that they affect all schools in a district. A classroom must be 87% full in order to pay for the teacher of that classroom. The remaining 13% contributes to the cost of special programming like art, music and Spanish. It only takes a few kids leaving from each classroom to destabilize the entire school.
That’s when the downward spiral begins. Conditions worsen at the public schools, parents leave for charters or the suburbs, the push for more charters begins until slowly the foundation of the public schools has completely rotted away.
You only have to look at the situation in Chicago and Philadelphia to see this play out in real time.
The pro charter lobby will talk a lot about parent “choice.” But if the choice is between well funded charter schools and a broken public schools – that is no choice at all. That is a choice that has been made for you.