Question Two will be a fiscal disaster for Boston

CnHuCxpW8AQ0s9wI’ve been kicked off the PokemonGo servers without so much as a Weedle to capture so while I wait to have my reality reaugmented, I thought I would write a blog post.

The ballot question line up came out today.

Question 2 would allow for the creation of 12 new charter schools a year.

And you, dear voter, should Vote No on 2. Why? Because it would be a fiscal disaster for Boston.

Don’t believe me? Well, it’s right here in the Executive Summary for the City of Boston budget presentation.

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..unless the State acts to address the charter school cap in a way that protects Boston, voter approval of the proposed charter school cap ballot initiative could have a devastating effect on the City’s future finances. (Page 2 of the Executive Summary for Fiscal Year 2017)

That would be ballot initiative Number Two. The one I’m telling you not to vote for.Note that it says, it would have a devastating effect on the CITY’s finances. It does not say Boston Public Schools finances. This is the city’s finances.

That is because Boston already loses an astonishing $120 million dollars to charter schools each year. That is what is lost with only 34 charter schools in Boston. If Question 2 is passed, there could be 12 new charters schools added each year. They are approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). The chair of BESE has made it clear that BESE should not consider budgetary effects of the charters on the surrounding district when approving charters. BESE will not save us. We could lose hundreds of millions more each year.

Now ask yourself – where is that money going to come from? Really. Where is it going to come from?

I hear your silent objection: But aren’t cities reimbursed for charter school tuition?

On paper yes. But the reality is that the state budget actually has to write in a number that funds the reimbursement. And if they don’t, there is nothing forcing them to. There are no consequences for the state if they do not reimburse us. And they haven’t fully reimbursed Boston in years.

And even if they did reimburse us – where is that money going to come from?

Really. Think about it. Who is going to pay the reimbursements? Where does the state get its money from?

You. The taxpayer. And it is really expensive to fund education. Now, if you go, and you set up an entirely parallel and duplicate system, you will be paying twice as much for the exact same services. You, the taxpayer, will be paying twice for the same services you could be paying once for.

But the state isn’t going to do that because according the Foundation Budget Review Commission, the state is already underfunding public education by nearly a billion dollars.

So there will be no million dollar reimbursement for Boston from. That money will come out of the city’s coffers.

How do you imagine that is going to play out?

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