I just saw an ad on TV supporting Question 2. The gist of it was that anyone who says that expanding the number of charter schools will drain money away from local schools is a liar, and that Question 2 will actually increase funding for public schools.
Of course it will increase overall funding for public schools - charters are public schools. Increase the number of charters and you increase the funding for public schools. The pie will get bigger, but local systems will see a smaller piece.
Such disingenuous rhetoric really turns my stomach. I agree with Dolan about once every ten years. This is that one time. I'll be voting no on 2.
Don't give the Charter Schools another dime until they have fiscal accountability. Even if you believe Charters are the best thing since sliced bread, schools that rely on public tax dollars should have to be accountable for how those dollars are spent - and to the tax payers - just like public schools are. Voting NO.
And if you need even more proof, Google: "Malden charter school seeks ‘damages’ from teachers for changing jobs." Disgraceful.
Come on folks - did you bother to read the document? They are talking about expanding charter schools in certain urban areas - about 9 areas - to give parents the option to send their kids to a better school - rather than staying in a failing school. Everyone should be voting for this - don't be so parochial in your outlook!
If there was language in the ballot question limiting it to "certain urban areas", I might consider it on that limited basis. The question on the ballot does not preclude another charter opening that would accept Melrose students, and as a poster above pointed out the lack of fiscal accountability at the one that does - MV - points out a real issue. The concept of charters is a good idea - unfortunately, as with all things in Massachusetts, the devil is in the details. Melrose cannot afford to have another 200 charter enrollees unless something changes drastically with the current funding mechanism and with Chapter 70. My primary responsibility is to all the kids of Melrose, not just the ones that choose to opt for a charter. If that makes me parochial, so be it.
Doesn't the misleading rhetoric give you cause to think more carefully about it?
The issue isn't charter schools. They are great for a certain subset of children and families. The issue is the funding mechanism, or lack thereof. Mystic takes $2,500,000 +/- out of the Melrose public school system every year for 200 +/- kids...a lot more than it costs to educate an additional 200 kids in the City. The State does not reimburse that amount. Therefore the law of the State is Charter Schools exist and they make local districts pay for it by a reduction in aid. Its the same deal with Special Education. State makes you do it, and doesn't fund it. As a matter of fact the State requires these things and reduces aid every year. Charter Schools and Special Education funding needs to be revisited by the State so that the burden is not placed entirely on local communities with decreasing state aid dollars every year. This is what are State rep and senator should be working on....
The following is a summary of the Charter School Ballot:
The summary is as follows:
“ This proposed law would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year.
Approvals under this law could expand statewide charter school enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year. New charters and enrollment expansions approved under this law would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them, and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them.
If the Board received more than 12 applications in a single year from qualified applicants, then the proposed law would require it to give priority to proposed charter schools or enrollment expansions in districts where student performance on statewide assessments is in the bottom 25% of all districts in the previous two years and where demonstrated parent demand for additional public school options is greatest.
New charter schools and enrollment expansions approved under this proposed law would be subject to the same approval standards as other charter schools, and to recruitment, retention, and multilingual outreach requirements that currently apply to some charter schools. Schools authorized under this law would be subject to annual performance reviews according to standards established by the Board.
The proposed law would take effect on January 1, 2017.
It should be noted that the total number of allowed charter schools allowed in Mass is 120 but there are currently only 78 current charter schools in the state. But because the law limits how many there can be in any district - in poor urban areas they are max'd out - this law would allow them to increase charter schools in these districts. There are about 33,000 kids waiting in line for charter school in these districts. Let people decide where to send their kids - good school don't need to worry while poor performance schools should go bankrupt - or change! Simple as that!
First, a number of studies have been published recently about the long-term effect of Charter Schools. Turns out in poor, urban areas, students attending Charters do not have any more success post college - in careers, income, etc. than their traditional public school counterparts.
Second, there has been a tremendous amount of marketing (by interested companies who profit from Charters - including the super wealthy who invest in hedge funds) to convince the public that "Charter Schools" are the answer. Maybe we will become a country with a different model - that gives parents a "choice". But the funding for Charters must be amended first. Let's not put the cart before the horse.
Union is out there night and day because they will lose $$$$! Vote YES on question 2, union for teachers and secretaries do nothing anymore.
The biggest lie is that school districts get nothing when losing students to charter schools - the schools these students come from get some funding up to 6 years after losing a student - and this money comes from the state - and this program has been funded by thew state 9 out of 12 years.
And new studies have shown that charter school students, on average, perform better on national exams than their public school peers! Every parent should have the ability to send their child to any school!
Test scores? Really? If all you care about are test scores, then you must be happy that charters can keep their test scores high by suspending huge numbers of students, carefully avoiding any challenging students (like the non-English speaking ones), and chasing out those who don't get great scores.
There was a great quote about this a few weeks ago - in response to those ridiculous TV advertisements promoting Charters as "public" schools:
"Are public schools perfect as is? Not even close. But the solution is not to rescue a favored few at the cost of making things worse for the many left behind. If charter advocates wanted to approach this honestly, here's what their proposal would say--
Vote to have your taxes raised to finance every child having the option to attend private school at taxpayer expense. Vote to shut down public schools and replace them with schools that aren't any better, won't serve some of your children, and aren't accountable to you, ever."
Unequivocally voting NO on question 2.
Let's look at the bigger picture folks - question 2 isn't about MELROSE. If you think CT can do a better job - she probably can. If you think Unions are not great - they probably aren't. If you think the BOARD at Mystic Valley Charter is corrupt - they probably are. And teachers without unions is not a bowl of cherries either - check out the story on Mystic charging their teachers "damages" to the tune of thousands of $$$ if they quit.
The question on the table is about Charters in MASSACHUSETTS. Charter reimbursement to public schools (by the state) has not been fully funded in years. Years. It is currently 142 million under-funded. If Charters are expanded and enrollment is expanded where do you think the money will come from to pay for these schools? That's right. Us. Taxpayers - because, Charters are funded by our tax dollars.
There is absolutely no reason to vote yes until the funding model for Charters is examined.
Repeat: Question 2 will go down faster than a $2 dollars hooker.
Ps. No wonder Melrose has stupid kids their parents believe everything they hear or read on Melrose Messages.
I am just glad the union has had to spend all this time fighting it. At least they are doing something with my dues. Personally, I abstained from the phone banks and door-to-door canvassing.
If the local public schools were that good, the teacher's union would have nothing to fear.
The schools use charter schools as a scapegoat for their problems. If Mystic Valley closed tomorrow, MPS would be worse off not better. They would have to educate the children returning & they would lose whatever piece of the remaining reimbursement schedule for those children who didn't return but left for private schools.
You are correct. If you could listen I on these Union meetings, you would be ill. The fear in the room is palpable. If only the energy they put into fighting the charters was put into improving the public schools...
If you genuinely care about the overall education of all Massachusetts children vote YES. If protecting teachers is your primary care vote No.
Voting NO and it has nothing to do with teachers or unions. Charters don't have to educate every student but are a "public" school. Sorry, but you can't act like a private school with taxpayer dollars. That's why I'm voting no.
1 - No
2 - No
3 - Yes
4 - Yes
yes no yes yes
Voting no has everything to do with teacher unions. And granted, Melrose and a lot of towns are fortunate to have fairly decent systems but voting yes won't effect us much at all. Voting yes will help some cities withless than satisfactory systems. The unions in these cities DO NOT have the best interest of the children at hand.
There is no such thing as separate but equal. We simply should concentrate on improving the public schools and move away from the charter school concept. Having a more limited version of unions is something that should be considered to give the public schools more flexibility to get the best teachers and remove those that are in the wrong vocation.
Isn't voting for Q2 the ultimate slap in the face to the SC? Rather give the $ to charters than you!
The ONLY reason the MTA is against the Charter schools is they can't collect exherbatant dues. Don't kid yourself. Choices should be left open. Especially in racist Melrose.
MBM didn't take in a asst principal as the Lincoln did. Why you ask when the school qualifies and who couldn't use the extra help? She does want first hand knowledge out from an administrator how incompetent she is. And a huge LIAR, LIAR, LIAR.
ES was so great when it started. Now it's all about the money and nastiness. Amanda's great!!!!!! Dr. J. not a bad person or Mrs. K. but they can be handled too by CT. Hey get some ethics. D. SM. is a complete nasty butch bit¢h. who relishes in firing people. Her employees saying she F**king sucks and if everyone asks who they all says D. She has no personality. ES has gone way down hill. Healthy snacks, nope. Used to be juice, now water, when its even stocked in. Used to be cut up fruit and carrots with dip. Gone are those days. Don't be fooled. It sucks. This is no reflection on lower staff who do the best they can under this crumbling system. Not worth the money.
The public schools have had ample money and infusion of federal and state monies to improve and have failed! That is evident to anyone who knows anything about this situation - charter schools - even by lottery - is a way for some of these kids - and increasing the number of charters - them gives them a better chance at future success.
You only need to look at Lowell, Fitchburg, Lawrence, and Boston to fully grasp the depths of failure to realize that another alternative is needed - sure improve the governance of charter schools - but increase them as an alternative to failed public schools. Better yet - get the unions out of education!
Have all you pro Question 2 people completely forgotten about Chapter 70 and how totally screwed up the formula is? Before you come to me with any more brilliant ideas, fix Chapter 70. Then come talk to me. Anyone who expect the government to properly put together and administer a program like this is an idiot who has learned nothing from history.
Local schools have had their chance. If they haven't improved by now, they never will. Charter schools although far from perfect are at least offering an alternative for parents that can't afford private schools.
I am tired of the you need to accept the Melrose schools for what they are approach. Two hundred + students have voted with their feet and want no part of MPS. The number of families dissatisfied with their local schools are even higher in other communities. This expansion request is so more students can make the choice to leave their failing school system.
All the talk about how charter schools don't accept everyone is actually an argument for YES on Question 2. Charter schools cannot accept everyone right now because there aren't enough seats available. Question 2 wants to add more seats.
Look at the public figures that are against Question 2. School Committees, teachers unions, the mayor of Melrose. People that don't want to lose CONTROL over education. It's a power play.
Margaret Driscoll bleats about "no local oversight." Ha. Ha. You mean no Margaret Driscoll oversight.
Sorry. Not everybody wants you, your reprehensible norms, your super Taymore or the self-appointed education expert involved with their child's education.
OAN, I hope MPS isn't accepting money from the state for the homeschooled children. Pretending they are still in MPS because they come in for a few days MCAS testing. Accurate records need to kept.
Vote YES on all the questions. Thank You!
"I'm a union President in Melrose. I am voting yes as well. With the way our school system is being run into the ground, all the racial bias and retaliation we need choices. I can tell you first hand how God-awful corrupt MPS is and morally bankrupt. I did not contact not one of my members. Let them make up their own mind on this one. Normally I agree with and stand by the unions but in this case I cannot ."
Absolutely agree. In light of the despicable conduct by non-leadership of MPS, will absolutely vote Yes on 2 even though I fully agree that the funding formula is flawed and there is little to no accountability from the charters, especially MValley, which epitomizes the worst behavior. Given the abhorent conduct and track record of those in charge in Melrose, there is every reason to recommend the only public alternative, the charter schools. Given that the last two Melrose teacher's union presidents were well-known individuals of poor character who cost this city untold sums of money and irreparable damage to the education of students and the reputation of the district (and city), there is zero reason to obey the union mandate about Question 2. There is zero reason to expect that the MPS would do anything better with the $2 million that goes to MValley other than to use it to pay the legal fees and hidden settlement charges for their illegal conduct or further inflate the administrators' salaries and expense accounts (i.e., travel to high-end hotels for conferences that bring virtually nothing back to the district but increased entitlement from these charlatan hacks who have promoted and allowed racism, bullying, and the general degradation of the entire educational system).
I'm willing to bet all these "pro question 2" posters ranting about MPS voted against the override. Well the joke is going to be on all of you if Question 2 passes - where do you think the $$$$$ will come to fund all these new Charters? Right...Charters are publically funded with zero public oversight.
So yes, definitely vote "yes" because of some myopic obsession with Melrose. Vote yes to "teach those Unions a lesson". Vote yes because you hate CT.
But...before you furiously fill in your little black oval, did you know that Melrose is almost at the City cap - meaning even if Mystic gets more seats, no more kids from Melrose can attend. So, funny, question 2 does nothing for Melrose. Instead, take a look at the bigger picture for MA - if Question 2 passes, taxes are going up. State taxes. You can bet on it.
So you want to send a message? Where were you the last election day when you could have sent the only message that matters at this point? The time for sending symbolic messages is long past, and would be ignored by the administration anyway. It's time for direct action, not messages.
The fact is that few Melrose kids will benefit in any way from Question 2, and we will end up paying for it anyway to some degree at least. Is keeping that money in Melrose going to make any difference here? Probably not, as long as the current administration remains. If things here weren't such a shambles, far fewer kids would opt out. That's where we ought to be directing our attention and our efforts - getting rid of the people who got us into this position.
OK, who is the idiot? Let's start with this fact - MA income tax rate hasn't increased in years - years! In fact is down from the 6% it was in the 90s.
Next, the STATE of MA holds a piece of the funding formula for Charters - not your local property taxes! Sending schools pay tuition that reflects their per pupil spending - and that can go up or down depending on the school budget.
So back to the important question - where exactly do you think the funding is going to come from for all the new Charters? The public schools aren't going to simply hang up "went out of business signs,". Because, guess what, all the kids that didn't get a winning lottery ticket or have any sort of significant IEP still need a school.
Clearly you fall in the "voting for #2 to teach a lesson". So where is the money coming from, and what is the message?
Agreed. Voting Yes on #2 is just a different way to shoot yourself in the foot.
The lack of acuity in the typical Melrose voter is sometimes staggering, which should come as no surprise given that the same incompetent fools get elected and re-elected ad infinitum. When you're standing hip deep in excrement, don't look for higher boots - look for the drain plug.
You are completely missing the point. No one is advocating giving MPS more money. Not with this bunch of nitwits running the show. But why give a bunch of the money they do get to a charter that no Melrose kid can go to, in addition to paying even more money in state taxes to fund a bunch of new ones? If the schools weren't such a cluster f*** not as many would opt for the charter in the first place.
One more time - the major problem we have in Melrose is not the charters - it's the gang of morons running the system now. The only fix for that is to get rid of them all, because until we do, nothing is going to get any better