Education advocates seek to eliminate charter school cap in MA

BOSTON (WWLP) — Three years ago, state lawmakers raised the cap on the number of public charter schools allowed to operate in Massachusetts, now education advocates want to eliminate the cap altogether.

Springfield organizers from education group Stand For Children say charter schools have more control over their curriculums and achieve better student results. Before Sabis International became a charter school in Springfield, it was one of the lowest performing schools, now it's the top school in the city.

Teachers unions argue charter schools are selective with the students they accept, they employ mostly non-union teachers and they drain money away from regular public schools.

Luz Lopez, Springfield organizer at Stand For Children, told 22News, “Making sure that our parents have options for education of their children, I think that's going to be very important for them.”

According to Paul Toner, President of the Mass Teachers Association, “They aren't doing it for all the children. They're doing it for the children who get selected in their lottery system and stay there. The kids who leave the charter schools come back to the regular school districts and, you know, through attrition, that's their success.”

Other versions of the bill propose to raise the cap on charter schools in the state's lowest 10 percent performing districts.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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