Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Two to one Loss for Charter Lobby in Mass Charter School Expansion - $23 million down the drain

The woim is toining.

Massachusetts Ballot questions, 2 - Expand Charter Schools 

1,626,237 votes
981,658 votes
80% reporting
Boston Globe

Massachusetts voters appeared to reject a major expansion of charter schools Tuesday, brushing aside calls for greater school choice amid concerns about the overall health of public education.
With 50 percent of the vote counted, the opponents were leading 62 percent to 38 percent — a wide enough margin for both sides to acknowledge the outcome. The Associated Press called the race.
The vote, if it holds, would be a major victory for teachers unions and civil rights organizations, which argued that charters are diverting too much money and attention from traditional public schools that serve the overwhelming majority of students.
”We’re claiming victory,” said Steve Crawford, a spokesman for Save Our Public Schools, the opposition group, at an election night party at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. “It’s substantial, too.”

Voter rejection of Question 2 would be a significant setback for Governor Charlie Baker, who campaigned heavily for the referendum, saying it would provide a vital alternative for families trapped in struggling urban schools.

Voter rejection of Question 2 would be a significant setback for Governor Charlie Baker, who campaigned heavily for the referendum, saying it would provide a vital alternative for families trapped in struggling urban schools.

But the survey, like other polls this fall, showed that the “no” side had made substantial gains nonetheless — winning over more Democrats, independents, and women than they had in the spring.
Christine Fischer-Rothman, 51, a Jamaica Plain lactation consultant with a son at Boston Latin School, said she voted against charter expansion.

“I want to have the money poured into the Boston Public Schools and not out,” she said, adding that it is “not a solution” to shift funding to schools outside the traditional system that “just do independently what they want.”

Research shows that Massachusetts urban charters have made substantial gains with black and Latino students, in some cases out-performing schools in white, wealthy suburbs. That track record attracted heavy interest from national charter advocates, who saw the state as an important testing ground for the movement.
It also made race became a key battleground in the fight over Question 2.

Baker, in a television ad that ran at the close of the campaign, made a direct appeal to the conscience of white, suburban voters. “Massachusetts has many great public schools,” he said, sitting in his Swampscott living room. “And we took it for granted that our kids would go to great public schools. But some kids aren’t so lucky. Where they live, they don’t go to a great school and they have no choice.”

But opponents like Juan Cofield, president of the New England Area Council of the NAACP, warned that charters were creating a two-tiered system, draining money from the traditional public schools that serve the bulk of black and Latino students.
“As Brown vs. the Board of Education taught us,” he said at the “No on 2” campaign kickoff, invoking the landmark school desegregation case, “a dual school system is inherently unequal.”
The most important existing state cap on charter growth limits how much money charter schools can divert from individual school districts. In most districts, it’s 9 percent of “net school spending,” which includes many, but not all spending categories. In the lowest-performing districts, it’s 18 percent.

Cities like Boston that are bumping up against the cap would not be able to add many charter seats in the short run if Question 2 failed. But that would not spell the end of the movement. Over time, as Boston’s school budget naturally grows, there should be more money available to ship to charters — opening up an estimated 4,000 charter seats between 2018 and 2028, according to a city analysis.

Massachusetts Charter Schools Supporters Lose Battle; Yes on 2 Campaign 'Disappointed'

Preliminary results show Massachusetts voted down Question 2.

After tens of millions of campaign dollars and months of campaigning, Massachusetts appear to have voted against a contentious ballot initiative that would have opened the door to an increase in charter schools in the state, according to preliminary results.
The measure, Question 2, saw fierce opposition by teachers, their unions and many public school parents. It saw strong support championed by Gov. Charlie Baker. Both sides spent millions to persuade the public, after efforts to alter the state’s charter school policy fizzled in the Legislature.
If passed, the ballot question would have allowed Massachusetts’ Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools, or expand enrollment in existing charter schools, by up to 1 percent of statewide public school enrollment every year, starting in 2017.
A spokeswoman for the "Yes on 2" campaign effectively conceded the race, writing in a statement shared with Patch:
"Although we are disappointed with tonight's result, the work being done by Massachusetts best-in-the-nation public charter schools continues. These great schools will continue to provide first-rate education choices to kids stuck in failing schools. The creation of the charter movement, and the effort to reform a system that has changed so little in a hundred years isn't easy, but we know the thousands of parents, teachers and students that have fueled this campaign will press on."
In Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, voter Thomas Ruffen is no doubt feeling relieved. A Boston Public School bus monitor and paraprofessional, Ruffen told Patch he is most concerned about Question Two, and the implications for children with disabilities.

1 comment:

  1. I see this as grassroots action just like opt out and Bernie.


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.