Charter school proposals would add nearly 5,400 seats

Groups hope to open new charter schools and boost existing enrollment

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

FOUR GROUPS ARE LOOKING to open new charter schools in Massachusetts and four existing charter schools are hoping to boost their enrollment. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Thursday it received proposals for new schools in Lynn, Haverhill, New Bedford and Lawrence.

The state’s existing 78 charter schools serve more than 42,000 students — 4.5 percent of all the public school students in Massachusetts. If approved, the four proposed new schools would serve an additional 2,168 students and the charter expansions would accommodate nearly 3,200 students.

“I am pleased that groups continue to be interested in opening high-quality charter schools, because we know that there are still many more children interested in attending a charter school than there are available charter seats,” Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson said in a statement.

The proposals are the first step in the process to opening a charter school. The department will announce by mid-September which groups, if any, will be invited to submit full proposals due by Nov. 1. Early next year, Wulfson will decide which finalists to recommend to the state board of education.

A charter school is a public school that operates independently of any school committee under a five-year charter granted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The school is governed by a board of trustees and has freedom in regards to its core mission, budget, and hiring and firing of staff. If the school does not produce positive results within five years, the charter is not renewed.

The proposals for new schools come after the dust has settled around a fiery charter school debate sparked by a 2016 ballot question. A proposed law to lift the state’s cap on charter schools was defeated by voters after it raised questions about school choice, class and the use of public funds.

The state’s existing cap on charter schools limits a district’s net school spending on charter school tuition to 9 percent. That rule is different for the state’s lowest performing districts, where the charter tuition cap is double: 18 percent. If more than 9 percent of net school spending goes to charter school tuition in those low performing districts, charter school officials applying to open a new school or expand an existing one must demonstrate they are “proven providers” with a track record of strong performance, especially for high-need students, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said.

Three of the four proposals for new schools would have to show they are “proven providers” because their districts have reached the cap. Those schools include Equity Lab Charter School, looking to serve 640 students in grades 5 through 12 in Lynn, and New Bedford Cheironeum, proposing to serve 1,008 students in grades 6 through 12.

Phoenix Charter School, which already operates in Chelsea and Springfield, is looking to open a third charter school in Lawrence for 250 students in grades 9 through 12. Phoenix Charter School only needed to submit a letter of intent at this stage in the process because the school’s trustees already operate in the state. It will still need to demonstrate it is a “proven provider” due to the tuition cap.

Massachusetts Wildflower Montessori Charter School, which wants to serve 270 children from kindergarten to eighth grade in Haverhill, does not need to demonstrate “proven provider” status because that city is under the 9 percent cap.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also received four requests to expand charter schools. Three are from schools in the western part of the state and one is from a Lynn charter school. If all four schools were granted expansions, they would create space for 3,196 new charter school students.

Holyoke Community Charter Public School would like to add a high school and bump enrollment from 702 seats to 1,141 seats. The school also seeks to add Chicopee, South Hadley and West Springfield to its region. The school unsuccessfully requested expansions in 2010 and 2013.

KIPP Lynn, which serves 1,586 students from kindergarten to grade 12, wants to add 1,014 seats. The school has been granted expansions in the past, though not always on the first try. It began a middle school and grew over time, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Jacqueline Reis said.

The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, which serves a bevy of Western Massachusetts cities and towns, wants to significantly bump up its enrollment by adding 452 seats to its existing 584-student limit. The Chinese Immersion school has unsuccessfully requested to expand in previous years.

Veritas Preparatory Charter School in Springfield, which serves 324 students in grades 5 through 8, wants to add 108 seats. The school submitted a larger request last year but withdrew it, Reis said.

To determine whether to grant an expansion, the commissioner and the board will consider the success of the school’s academic program, organizational viability, faithfulness to the terms of its charter and the availability of existing seats under current limits. The department will consider comments from school superintendents and members of the public within each charter school’s proposed district or region. Comments on new school proposals will be heard in the final application stage.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved three new charter schools in February. The state granted charters to Hampden Charter School of Science – West in Westfield to open in 2018, Map Academy Charter School in Plymouth to open in 2018 and Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School to open in the fall.

Meet the Author

Stephanie Murray

Guest Contributor, State House News Service
The board also granted expansions to Foxborough Regional Charter School, Boston Collegiate Charter School, Boston Preparatory Charter School and Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis. Additional expansions were granted to Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford, Community Charter School of Cambridge and a temporary increase in enrollment for UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester. In total, the expansions added about 1,000 charter slots.

 

  • Mhmjjj2012

    Holyoke Community Charter School submitted an application to add a high school. That charter school is run by SABIS a private, for profit education management company with US headquarters in Minnesota and its roots in Lebanon (Middle East.) The Holyoke charter’s Accountability Data shows Level 2 – “Not meeting gap narrowing goals,” which has been the case for the past five years. Even though that charter school is K-8, it does not accept applications for students after grade 6. What happens as a result of that policy is the number of students decline as the grades progress. For example, in 2012 there were 91 students grade 3 but by the time that charter school class made it to grade 8 in 2017 there were only 68 students or a loss of 25% of students. I can understand why the state didn’t approve previous expansion requests from this charter school in 2010 and 2013.

  • Mhmjjj2012

    Veritas Preparatory Charter School has grades 5-8. That’s another charter school whose empty seats are not filled as grades progress. The most recent 8th grade class for 2017 had 57 students but when that class started out in 5th grade back in 2014 there were 78 students so that means 21 seats are unfilled or 27%. What’s interesting is according to Veritas’ Application for Lottery Admission for the 2017-2018 School Year, “Applications in grades 6-8 will likely result in waiting list placement.” Here’s the thing though, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reports a waiting list for Veritas but those empty seats still haven’t been filled. Also, even though students have been enrolled in that charter school since 2013, its Accountability Data still shows as.”Insufficient Data.” But it’s applying for more seats even though it can’t or won’t fill the empty seats it already has from a waiting list it already has. That’s not stopping the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from considering adding more seats though.

    • disqus_g7TL42BOco

      You critique about charter schools falls short to public schools in urban areas which seats are half empty by the end of school year because kids are dropping out at an alarming rate. Why don’t you write solutions to bring public schools in urban areas that are failing… You are protecting a school system that is disconnected from its own population. You are also disconected from the reality families face in urban areas.

      • Mhmjjj2012

        Rodolfo, just so you know in Massachusetts, urban, suburban and rural K-12 public schools are shortchanged in funding by the state. The 1993 Education Reform Act set up the Foundation Budget…the mechanism distributing state aid to local public schools…and no less than two reports found the state is not meeting its financial obligations to local public schools. The real disconnect is the state legislature and the Governor have done nothing to address the shortfall in funding. Why? Because the legislature was busy voting itself a raise and the Governor is busy sitting on his hands unless there’s something to do to cheerlead for charter schools or set up/approve back room deals for well connected developers.

  • Mhmjjj2012

    This article noted the state education board granted an expansion to Boston Collegiate Charter School so here’s the rest of that story. It’s Level 2 “Not meeting gap narrowing goals” and has been a Level 2 for the past three years. Boston Collegiate has grades 5-12 but only has waitlists for grades 5-10. Even so, that charter school doesn’t fill its empty seats from its waitlists. Surprisingly, that didn’t stop the state from increasing the number of seats at Boston Collegiate Charter School.

  • Mhmjjj2012

    Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson’s statement “we know that there are still many more children interested in attending a charter school than there are available charter seats” rings hollow. His department has approved, and is considering approving, more seats for charter schools that already have empty seats. Why isn’t the State House New Service looking into why those charter schools are leaving seats unfilled while asking for more seats? What’s the point of simply running with a press release?

    • disqus_g7TL42BOco

      This is a slap in the face this is a slap in the face to all of you watch dogs Who don’t care about public occasion in the urban areas . Me that you improve the applications in the classrooms in public Schools in the urban areas or face more seats allocated for those areas as day have long waiting lists . You Thought defeating question number 2 was the final answer we don’t take that for a final answer . Watch dogs find another John has your term is coming to end … We welcome those additional seats for chatteris calls which are very full and Teaching g plenty to our kids

      • Mhmjjj2012

        Why don’t you make the case for the state to approve more seats to a Level 2 – “Not meeting gap narrowing goals” charter school run by a private, for profit education management company with US headquarters in Minnesota and its roots in Lebanon (Middle East)? Or the fact that same education management company runs two other charter schools in Massachusetts: one operating under “conditions” and one that didn’t meet the 2010 state law for charter schools to have student demographics reflective of the local sending public schools? What do you think about a charter school’s education management group that doesn’t recruit English Language Learners? Should that education management company get an OK from the state for more seats? Just so you know, the charter schools wait lists have already been proven to be grossly inflated, not credible and even when there are names of real children waiting for seats those charter schools DON’T FILL THEIR EMPTY SEATS FROM THEIR WAIT LISTS! Yeah, we need more charter schools like that.

  • Alfie Tennyson

    People here complaining about a charter in Holyoke “stuck” at level 2 should probably be ecstatic about that since the district is a level % chronic failure.
    Charter haters should really look att he issue honestly. Many of them may be surprised that many pro-charter folks would be allies in a discussion about funding.

    • Mhmjjj2012

      Holyoke is one of three public school districts under state receivership and loses about $10 million of its funding to charter schools. When charter schools enroll higher achieving students, don’t enroll similar student demographics to the sending local public schools (low income, English Language Learners & special education), don’t backfill empty seats, don’t accept students for higher grades and don’t accept students after February 15th then it’s not surprising those charter schools would receive a higher accountability rating. And no, very few, if any, pro-charter folks bring up the funding issue because if local public schools were fully funded then they’d be no call for “choice” or charter schools. Local public schools would be fully resourced and meeting the needs of all their students.

      • Alfie Tennyson

        Everything you stated is a lie.

        • Mhmjjj2012

          Come on, everything I stated is the verifiable truth. It would take just a little effort on your part to confirm it but you didn’t make that effort. Why is that?

          • Alfie Tennyson

            I’ve done all the research.
            Sending districts don’t lose money to charters. They in fact are funded for three years after the student departs. Afterwards the money follows the student.
            Charters use a blind lottery and have been proven time and again to accept and have good outcomes with all student types.
            Charters do not necessarily have higher achieving students other than via the variables that many, NOT ALL, charters are simply better than most of the troubled district schools and have as a matter of pursuing the lottery system parents who care and are engaged. That charters routinely support and pursue parental engagement better than failing district schools is testimony to what good schools should do.
            As for pro charter folks not bringing up funding, well suffice to say I personally know this not to be true. I for one support statewide school choice and state level funding of education. The archaic early 20th century model doesn’t work,it clearly prevents an equal opportunity education which is what the Legislature originally set out to address.
            DoE is a very good source of unbiased factual information, I’d suggest that as opposed to MTA & union rhetoric.
            Class dismissed

          • Mhmjjj2012

            Sending public school districts lose money to charters from day one. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has a “Questions and Answers about Charter Schools” with an explanation on funding: “Q. How are Commonwealth charter schools funded? A. For each child that a Commonwealth charter school enrolls, it receives a tuition amount from the state equal to a per-pupil amount calculated by the Department’s school finance office. The state then deducts the same amount from the sending district’s state aid account (the sending district being the school district in which the student resides)…” Your comment about public schools are “funded for three years after the student departs. Afterwards the money follows the student” is total nonsense. I believe you’re referring to the charter school reimbursement formula that’s flawed, underfunded and has a five year term. While the DESE has a write up on the formula, the best explanation I came across was written by Dan Gleason a member of the Ayer Shirley Regional School Committee. It appeared as a guest column in The Sentinel & Enterprise “Charter schools’ ‘Big Lie’ is being told by their supporters.” It’s worth checking out both sources so you’ll have a better understanding of that issue. There’s also the Foundation Budget which you didn’t address. Also, for a student to gain access to a charter school, his/her parents/guardians have to apply. Charter schools have a sibling preference that can mean 40% to 50% or more of seats are excluded from the lottery and are simply given to siblings of current students. Charter schools are not required to accept students after certain grades or after February 15th: K-8 charter schools are not required to accept new students after grade 4, K-12 charter schools are not required to accept new students after grade 6, and charter high schools are not required to accept new students after grade 9. A law was passed back in 2010 to have charter school student demographics be more reflective of the sending school districts but after seven years there’s still no comparison when it comes to special education students, low income and English language learners. You threw so much misinformation into your comment that I’ll leave it to tomorrow to finish my response.

          • Alfie Tennyson

            100% then four years at 25% reimbursement. Just stop!

          • Mhmjjj2012

            That means you didn’t check out both sources. The charter school reimbursement is not 100% of what the public school district loses for the first year then 25%. That’s not how it works. Dan Gleason’s guest column in The Sentinel & Enterprise, “Charter schools’ ‘Big Lie’ is being told by their supporters,” states:
            “The truth is that charter tuition and reimbursement calculations are very complex, and amounts change year to year, but these are the basic facts:
            1. Districts don’t get reimbursement unless their charter tuition increases year to year.
            2. Reimbursement is only for the increase in total tuition year over year, not the entire tuition. No tuition increase, no reimbursement. The district must pay the entire tuition owed.
            3. Reimbursement is based on the total tuition a district owes any and all charters, not the “annual cost of that student’s education.”
            Then he explains exactly how it works for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District: “In the six years we have been a region, we owed $6,103,360 in charter tuition, received $735,930 in reimbursement, for a net loss of $5,367,430. Reimbursement has been 12 percent of our total charter tuition expense…This year our Chapter 46 (charter) reimbursement is $2,901. That is not a typo. Yet our net charter tuition payment is $850,000. However, that is less than the $880,000 in FY16, so no reimbursement this fiscal year. We’re responsible for all $850,000 of charter tuition.” So while the state’s formula is 100% then 25% it ends up as 0% in reality.

          • disqus_g7TL42BOco

            Great! That is in your agenda!! go ahead and give these kids a hand!! We don’t care what the school’s name is !! These issues about institutions linked to Middle East ?? You have the information !! cooperate and contact the FBI.
            The grossly inflated waiting list! Do you have the evidence !! Cooperate and do something for these kids trapped in these failing schools. !!
            Today many Charter Schools opened the doors for the second day, my kid is already doing homework!
            Where are the BPS teachers???
            The schools are empty and nothing is going on!! That is how BPS is going to narrow the achievement gap??
            Like I said ! help and stop barking watch dog!!
            !Bla bla bla!! it is not about the kids is about you and your clan talks is about money. we are talking about change in the classroom!!

          • Mhmjjj2012

            Rodolfo, at the top of my agenda is an informed discussion on public education and its funding in Massachusetts. Exactly why would I need to call the FBI? Charter schools in Massachusetts can be legally run by private for-profit education management companies whether they are based in Minnesota or Lebanon or both. As far as the grossly inflated charter schools wait list is concerned, the Auditor released an audit and most recently, WGBH did an investigative report, “Charter school wait lists may not be what they seem” that clearly found extensive issues but even when names are legitimately on a charter school wait list that doesn’t mean the charter school will fill its empty seats from the wait list. By the way, it’s only August 15th, still the summer and it should be way too early for kids to be dealing with homework. I’ll bet the office you work in has air conditioning. How many, if any, of Boston Public Schools classrooms have air conditioning? Wouldn’t that lack of air conditioning put a damper on students ability to learn? The State of Massachusetts is not meeting its financial obligations to K-12 public schools under the 1993 Education Reform Act. No less than two reports came to that conclusion. Why don’t you take some time to read those reports?

          • jeanabeana

            even the affluent Northampton City has stated clearly in their budget documents the amounts that are drawn off. The City of Boston is being forced back to conditions that were pre-reform that the courts said are not fair because of the way funding is distributed.

            .”Sending districts don’t lose money to charters”. ?????? On what experiences and information do you base that judgment? Do you have further degrees in a field that I don’t know or I have never studied?

            Also, you should not be saying that we who have opposing views based on our experiences are Lying…. Have you read about the smaller district of Pelham? The gateway cities are the ones that suffer but in a different way from Pelham. There is even a list across the country as to who gets “screwed over ” the most… and Lowell and Brockton are on that list. (for the general audience please excuse my use of the term that came from the authors .. I don’t usually repeat the $@! slang.).

          • Mhmjjj2012

            I know what’s going on with charter schools/funding in Northampton and Pelham but what’s the story with Brockton and Lowell?

          • jeanabeana

            there is a faculty member Bruce Baker who writes about the funding in various states; then he makes a list across the country of the cities that are most severely harmed by the funding (or lack thereof) when the state provides monies…… Brockton and Lowell make his list of “cities most “screwed over” by the funding system. There are more details I can dig out for you … probably tomorrow. I’m kind of broken up about this Charlottesville thing. My friend is 84 and went to do her doctorate at U.VA. because they had a technology specialty; even though her 2 kids lived in MA she stayed in Charlottesville because she loved the camps and the flavor of the city (it is like Boston, or Austin, or Seattle)…. I know she is ok but I’m sure this has “rattled her”…. we did work in Essex County and Merrimack Valley when she lived here and we were putting technology into schools up and down 495. So I miss being with her. (we did our work with integrity and with cost-effectiveness studies — not the way they are doing it today when they apply technology inappropriately at great expense)

            P.S. Brockton also was harmed by the DESE that forced charter school onto their district even though the cities didn’t want it; they also dumped a lot of resource people — as other Gateway Cities have done because the local budgets can’t sustain the costs in special ed and the costs of health insurance etc. We had one youngster in Haverhill whose special ed year cost $300,000 out of district and the school superintendent didn’t even bother to inform he Mayor until the meetings when the bill was due. I heard of a ew others who have reached that yearly price and it is out of control. There is an article called “more process than is due” I will have to dig out — but it shows how we break the bank when this kind of budget stress continues. Meanwhile, we have a police department that is lacking in personnel and resources (Haverhill funds just a smidgeon over the foundation budget requirements and at great cost to the city/taxpayers/residents)

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • Mhmjjj2012

            Charlottesville has rattled a lot of people. I hope your friend stays safe. I’ve been following the New Heights Charter School saga in Brockton. That charter school started out under enrolled and dozens of students left early in the school year to go back to the Brocton public schools. That was a mess for the Brockton public schools to deal with. The Governor’s change in the state’s low income funding formula resulted in a loss of millions of dollars for Brockton public schools wreaking havoc on their budget. What people don’t realize about public school costs is there are more and more students with severe disabilities, on the autism spectrum, and those with significant neurological impairments increasing special education costs but the state is underfunding its financial obligations to special education under the 1993 Education Reform Act. How’s that working out across the state? I’ll bet not too well at all. I have a niece who attended Haverhill public schools. Over the years at family gatherings she’d mention how her teachers brought in supplies at their own expense. Her teachers never said a word about it or acknowledged the money they were spending out of their own pockets but my niece and other students could tell the difference in the supplies. There are well over 900,000 students attending public schools in Massachusetts. The very least the state should do is meet its financial obligations to all students attending public schools.

          • jeanabeana

            please look up Tracy O’Connell Novick (MA School Committee Association ; former school board member in Worcester). She really has a handle on the school district budgets. She ran the figures on Haverhill and I sent them to our Mayor who is on the school committee. I think she just did two more cities this past week (Leominster being one of them?). She ran a seminar for us at the MA Association of School Committees and she worked with the financial officer in Watertown Public Schools. That is where I spoke with the man from Framingham who said they set up a “Special Ed” section for stability (because the costs can really wipe you out if you get the bill for $300,000 for one child.). Tracy I’m sure would be glad to write back to you on FB or email. Depending on what city you live in, she could (if she has time) do the budget workup —
            for your area. I was hoping the Mayor of Haverhill would invite her to come and speak to our school committee.

          • jeanabeana

            https://www.mma.org/broken-charter-school-funding-system-must-be-fixed. this is from May newsletter of the MA Municipal Association — they work with City Councils, Municipal officers etc.
            https://www.mma.org/broken-charter-school-funding-system-must-be-fixed

            Settings

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • jeanabeana

            I don’t do Twitter but Tracy has a blog and you could reach her at the MA SC also…. She explains budgets better than anyone I know (some of the gurus at MASBO know budgets but they don’t explain as well as she does). here is a post https://twitter.com/TracyNovick/status/892498358090297344

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • Mhmjjj2012

            Thanks. I’ll check her out. It’s good to know Tracy Novick called out CommonWealth on quotes used in the article, “Mass. rating plan deemed unfair to high-poverty schools.” Jim Stergios from the “conservative-leaning” Pioneer Institute, Liam Kerr for the PAC, Democrats for Education Reform and Linda Noonan the executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. I’m very surprised the MBAE seems to have changed course. The MBAE released a report, “School Funding Reality: A Bargain Not Kept How is the Foundation Budget Working?” stating “Over the 17 years since the Education Reform Act passed, there has been virtually no equalization in spending or state aid between rich districts and poor.” Nothing has been done to fix and fully fund the Foundation Budget since that 2010 report was issued. Wouldn’t you expect Ms. Noonan to mention that little fact?

          • jeanabeana

            https://dianeravitch.net/2017/08/13/why-the-naacp-said-enough-to-school-privatization/ these are the basic reasons I cannot buy Jamie Gass building a whole rhetoric on what he thinks the founders intended. To me the logic is twisted and distorted to present his case; however, more than that , it is irrelevant , a distraction from what I believe to be true that is expressed in this article cited by Diane Ravitch. Vouchers are simply a funding mechanism — a way to relieve the state of the responsibility for thorough and efficient education for ALL children.

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • Mhmjjj2012

            If you think logic was lacking in the Jamie Gass comment here then take a couple of minutes to read what he said in The Sun’s article, “Pioneer Institute seeks test, graduation requirement.” Gass thinks $2.4 million is enough to implement the MCAS History requirement. There were 69,397 students in grade 12 this past school year which means that $2.4 million works out to $34.58 per student. How will $34.58 accomplish anything? Gass didn’t get into any specifics.

          • jeanabeana

            there are reading wars; there are math wars; the social studies curriculum /history has been under fire since the days when Liz Cheney was in Washington. That is why I have such a problem with these experimental tests. The tests are not valid when there is so much disagreement about curriculum; and it is money going into experiments. Pearson still wants another 5 years to prove they have a valid test in reading and in math. That is why they get so angry when there is an “opt out” by parents/students. It messes up their data on reliability and validity. Way too much money going into the development of tests and using students as guinea pigs. R&D funds should be available to field test and run a pilot with anything that is a new test — not make the entire population of students take part in an experiment. The corporations are demanding payment for developing and proving reliability and validity. In previous decades the corporation proved reliability and validity FIRST before the schools bought their tests. We had a BUROS reference guide just like the doctor has a PDR and it told you what tests were already proven to be reliable and valid based on the population (samples the test company used from schools across the country). When we did tests for Lawrence, for example, we used City Norms …. available from the test publisher — and, the test corporation would tell you the nature of the sample they had used to see if your student population was similar. Making special education students take all of these experimental tests is malpractice — the tests are not valid for the student population but the policy makers don’t care… they just see kids as “guiinea pigs” in their overall plans . I support opt out for parents/students.

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • jeanabeana

            this is written today about WI but it could also be said about MA (or NY or any state). “Wisconsin officials are stuck in the outdated, obsolete test-and-punish ideology of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, both of which were massive failures. Fresh thinking is needed, drawing on the wisdom and experience of educators, not on the bureaucrats at the state level.” The bureaucrats at DESE and the people that Baker/Peyer and others have brought in ; the “thinky tanks” like Fordham I. and Pioneer I. — way too much power and control in determining the lives of our students with TESTS that are not valid or reliable being used for their policy decisions. And, believe me they have built a system of “TEST and PUNISH”…

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • jeanabeana

            too much of our precious R&D funding is going into experimental tests. Curriculum and instruction and staff development and resources for the classroom are diverted to testing (and expensive computers to deliver tests)…https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/09/william-mathis-achievement-tests-tell-us/

            jeanhaverhill@aol.com

          • jeanabeana
          • Mhmjjj2012

            Thanks. I looked up the Education Law Center’s analysis showing Brockton and Lowell as the only two cities in Massachusetts whose public school systems are considered among the “most fiscally disadvantaged school districts in the country — those with higher than average student needs…and lower than average resources when state and local revenues are combined.” It’s shocking. I don’t recall reading anything about it in The Enterprise or The Sun. Brockton was recently approved for a charter school and is already losing more than $4 million to charter schools. Lowell is being drained of more than $17 million in funding for charter schools and one of those charters will be adding more grades and draining even more funding from Lowell public schools over the next few years. It’s incredible the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved charters for Brockton and Lowell considering their financial circumstances.

  • jeanabeana

    Alfie I am going to fall back on Barney Frank’s famous query: “What planet do you come from.” Please come and sit with our Mayor and our City Council and ask THEM what happens to the district budget. Have you looked at anything written from the MASC (association of school committees)? Have you any understanding of what happens to a budget in a City like Framingham? They just had to address a special education stabilization fund. Have you ever read ANYTHING AT ALL from the MA Municipal Association? Come back when you can address that perspective and I might be more polite to you (instead of quoting Barney).

    • Mhmjjj2012

      Pro-charter groups like Great Schools put a lot of misinformation out there and some people are still buying into it. You are rightfully pointing out the need for people to seek out other sources for information on charter schools. I hope Alfie looks into charter schools more deeply.