I am sorry but I think the entire premise around a charter school is ridiculous. It is completely unfair that they get my tax dollars to fund education my children can not attend. I am sorry but a lottery is ridiculous. The funding needs to go into public schools in the town. Just wanted to vent because it is crazy. Luckily I can afford to send my children to private schools. We need to make all public schools in our town worthy of all children.
Dear Concerned Citizen - please understand that the charter schools are an opportunity for kids in failed school systems, particularly in urban city areas, to get the education they deserve. Also, they are an excellent place to experiment with new and innovative teaching techniques and approaches to education that can't take place in a normal public school setting. They should be encouraged not discouraged. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know by reading this blog that they are many dissatisfied parents of our school system and for very good reasons. The citizens should have the same choice that you exercised - by sending their children to school systems they think would be better for their children and who don't have the financial resources you do.
Finally, money does not always solve education problems - you can throw all the money you want at failed or failing schools and not solve the main issues. Alternative school systems are needed and should be encouraged. Just my opinion as you are entitled to yours.
I agree if all children and families had access to go to charter schools, the one in Malden is based on luck and families. A child's education should not be based on luck...
I have taught in public schools for 25 years. I have no issue with charter schools. If the public schools did their jobs, people would not be looking for alternatives. Public schools have continually failed many families, and for some families who care about their kid's education, charter schools are their only option. Your tax dollars are mismanaged in public schools. If the public schools got their act together, charter schools would be a non-issue.
Public schools take too much from you wallet by mismanaging public funds. The Mystic Valley Charter School takes money from your wallet by taking more than they need!!!!
On the one hand, supporters of charter schools say that charter schools are better with managing money. Fine, I accept that. However, in the case of the Mystic Valley Charter School, they do a good job with your money but instead of giving the excess funds back to the taxpayers, they reward themselves by overspending.
It is a joke. The MVRCS supporters will come out in droves to brag about how fiscally responsible they are but in no way, has that worked to the benefit of Melrose taxpayers. Open your eyes.
As a resident with no kids in the system I want to pay a little tax as possible and have a school system that helps with my property value. Despite all of the doomsayers, my property value has been rising for decades and will continue. However, I find it offensive that the charter school is given more money than it needs and they feel entitled to keep MY excess funds just because they spend less than the public schools. The small band of thieves that run the Mystic Valley charter school have been doing this for years. They laugh at Melrose, in particular they laugh at residents of Melrose that rush to their defense even as they take money out of their pockets.
The funding model for Charter Schools has to be looked at. MVCS has steadily acquired real estate, built state of the art athletic fields - including a gorgeous gymnasium with a built-in kitchen/snack bar, and an Olympic size pool (which by the way it charges Melrose HS to use...) but has absolutely no accountability to tax payers.
As prior posters have mentioned, if Melrose public had "better" schools it surely would not lose as many students to the Charter, but it will never compete with MVCS's longer school day and longer school calendar that accommodates many families with two working parents.
In addition MVCS cannot accommodate (or chooses not to accommodate) the severe end of special needs - which are the most expensive. As a result the public school sending districts wind up with a disproportionate amount of these students in their budget.
If the funding model is re-examined there can be a way for charter schools to exist and serve their "purpose" - but with taxpayer dollars used equitably. Tax-payer funded schools that should never be that flush with cash.
I agree with what goes on in the Melrose schools you would sell your house.
I agree. If all children had access to charter schools, not solely depending on luck and families, it would be a different story. What really annoys me is that each year children leave the charter school, but their spots aren't filled. If I remember correctly, they don't allow anyone to enter the charter school system after a certain grade (second I think). I would have loved my child to attend middle school there with that small classroom size!
They are replacing the child, but with a kindergartener. The MVCS has a total enrollment cap. They receive significantly more funding (from sending districts/state) when children join the school as K. Look it up.
My point exactly. They are not replacing the 4th grader who leaves with another 4th grader. So, the public doesn't have fair access to the charter school as they would a public school. Do they offer all the K students spots in first grade? The enrollment cap should be per grade, otherwise it doesn't seem fair.
Agree. A cap per grade level makes much more sense. But it's not about that - it's about money.
Public schools HAVE to educate every single child that lives in (their) district. And if they can't educate that child (due to severe special needs) the district is required to pay to have that child educated somewhere else.
Charter schools are not public schools in any sense of the word, except that they are funded with taxpayer dollars. MVCS receives almost $10,000 per child from Melrose, per year. However, it does not spend nearly that amount to educate those children. No unions, lower teacher salaries, no high special needs budgets - the list goes on. And it really is amazing and fantastic that they are so innovative and can do so much with so little.
But then, to be fair, shouldn't the sending districts PAY the amount that it actually costs to educate the students? What are all those extra funds used for? We can see real estate purchases, beautiful new athletic fields, gymnasiums and swimming pools - but what else? Oh right, Charter schools don't have to disclose their budgets to the public taxpayers. Until that changes it makes sense to vote NO.
follow the money-Agree-excellent points! Thanks for sharing that knowledge, very helpful insight.
When a child in K -6th grade leaves Mystic Valley during the school year, they are replaced with another student within a day or two. They do not replace 7th grade through high school because the incoming students are usually so far behind that it is difficult for them to catch up. Classroom size is about 30 students so losing a few doesn't give a much smaller classroom.
K students don't bring any extra money to Mystic Valley. Per pupil expenditure is the same for all grades. The sending districts get reimbursed 100% for the 1st year a student leaves the system so the student isn't being educated in town but the town gets about 9,000 not to educate the child. The reimbursement rates falls off after that but there are a few more years where the town receives some money not to educate the child.
Anti-charter folks mention lack of tax payer oversight of the charter schools. How much oversight do you feel you have over the Melrose schools? Over the school committee? I'm going to ask Mr Mroz his opinion.
Anti-charter folks mention the lottery to get in as though it's a bad thing. It is a bad thing that all the families who want to attend charter schools cannot.
That is the purpose of Question 2. To allow more families access to charter schools.
The lottery takes place because there are currently more applicants than seats available at most charter schools. If not, then it's walk-in, sign-up.
The lottery is designed to be a neutral way for students to gain admittance to the school. You receive a number and your number is either drawn early enough at lottery night for a seat or it isn't. It's like a raffle which is kind of crazy but that is because there are not enough seats available.
The students who don't make it in at first -- due to lack of available seats -- are placed on a waitlist. If a student leaves as discussed in my post above, the the highest numbered child on the waitlist is offered a seat at the school.
If the pubic schools were doing their job - charter schools would not be needed or well-attended.People want choice for the education of their children - and choice is a good thing!
Notice that good schools can easily compete with charter schools - wow - can't figure that one out!
I am all for charter schools - get the friggin unions out of education and education performance will improve above mediocre and poor schools!
but it isn't a choice. That's the point. It's just luck based on a lottery as to whether you get into the charter school.