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Jeanne Allen: State gives generous charter reimbursements

by Jeanne Allen
Daily Hampshire Gazette
September 30, 2016

It’s time to set the record straight on education funding.

Opponents of parent power continue to spread false information about charter schools, despite the fact that many reputable sources, including newspaper editorial boards, have acknowledged that the claim that charter schools drain resources from traditional public schools is “absurd” and an “outright lie.”

Here’s the reality: Massachusetts provides one of the most generous reimbursement plans in the nation. In the last five years, Massachusetts’ districts have been reimbursed $350 million for students they are no longer educating — students who have decided a public charter school is a better fit for their unique learning needs.

Those intent on keeping the status quo — teachers unions — have always supported legislation that rolls back charter schools, using war chests at their disposal to promote traditional education structures.

This year, the National Education Association (NEA) plans to spend close to $36 million to “seek political and legislative outcomes that support great public schools and sustainable organizational power,” with $1.4 million specifically going towards anti-charter efforts in Massachusetts.

Locally, the Massachusetts Teachers Association approved more than $9 million to fight expanding charter school opportunities.

Charter schools have been an important part of education in Boston and across the Bay State, offering choice and opportunity for children, especially in low-income areas, and prompting reforms in conventional district schools.

It’s gut-wrenching to see so much money being devoted to spreading misinformation, when there are more than 30,000 children waiting for access to schools that have a proven record of results for children — particularly those most historically underserved by our traditional public schools.