Johanna Neumann: Reject charter school expansion until funding formula fixed

  • Richard Alcorn, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, in front of the school in Hadley. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Published: 12/3/2018 8:56:35 AM
Reject charter school expansion until funding formula fixed

If you value the quality of our public schools, I urge you to join me in opposing Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion charter school’s third expansion attempt in as many years.

Our public schools serve everyone - including children with special needs — and the teachers and staff are incredible. Yet every year it seems they are asked to do more with less. Amherst’s public schools — which my children attend — already pay more than $2 million to this single charter school. If this expansion is approved, an additional $2 million could be siphoned away every year.

And don’t think that just because the expansion was rejected the past two years it will be rejected again. The Baker Administration has historically been a strong champion of charter schools and more Baker appointees sit on the board making the decision now than in previous years. So your input is critical.

I have absolutely nothing against charter schools and am grateful for diverse opportunities in education. But, it is not right for the students and teachers in our local public schools, which offer incredible tailored programming for ALL kids in our community, to be penalized when some families choose to send their children to specialized charter schools.

The state must fix the charter school funding formula. Until that happens any expansion of charter schools erodes resources going to local public schools that serve everyone in our community. I don’t think that’s right.

If you agree, please join me in opposing the PVCICS expansion by emailing the Commissioner of Education at charterschools@doe.mass.edu by the December 3 deadline.

Johanna Neumann
Amherst


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