Saturday, November 5, 2016

charter schools

Next Tuesday's election ballot contains a question about raising the cap on so-called charter schools in Massachusetts. To the proponents, charter schools seem to be an improvement on public schooling which is plagued in various ways... sluggishness, wounded students, etc. Charter schools seem to offer an improvement, but the improvement takes money from the public school kitty, leaving public schools that much more static and sluggish. My feeling is that if you want to improve public education, you have to bite the bullet and attack the whole system, not nibble around the edges creating quasi-private schools over which the taxpayer has little or no say. My argument is not terribly well-formed, but more separation does not seem to me to be a reasonable cure for less separation between and among students/teachers/educational-results.

Anyway, I wrote this letter to the paper yesterday. While not entirely clear, still I wanted to save it:

One of the ideas near and dear to the hearts of many Americans is, "no taxation without representation." The sentiment added fuel to the American Revolution and continues to this day in various splinter groups that feel they are under- or even un-represented.

And it is in this regard that I ask if it would be reasonable for me or anyone else to withhold the portion of my tax money that funds schools (which can claim representation through various school committees) but is then subdivided or siphoned off to pay for so-called Charter Schools, which lack similar representation.

Far be it from me to accuse anyone of bellying up to the tax trough through a back door. On the other hand it might be well to remember that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."


  1. An argument against investment in poor schools is that you can't fix something by just throwing money at it. But it seems to work for the better funded schools.

  2. I came from a semi chartered school and funding has made all the difference, imho.