Letter: Flawed reasoning

The Recorder uses familiar flawed reasoning to argue against lifting the cap on charter public schools (“Don’t raise the cap,” March 26).

The argument centers on money and is predicated on the false impression that public schools are somehow robbed by the current charter funding formula. First of all, charters are public schools, so there is no loss of public education funding in the community. It just goes to another type of public school. Second, charters are now responsible for educating those students, so why should the district keep the funding?

To help district schools offset the loss of revenue, the state reimburses districts for six years after that child leaves — 100 percent the first year and 25 percent in each of the next five years. That amounts to more than double their money back over that six-year period. Make no mistake — this means that districts are being paid by the state for children they are no longer educating — for six years after they leave.

It’s mystifying that The Recorder believes that because this reimbursement falls from 100 percent the first year to 25 percent in each of Years 2 through 6, that this is somehow a rationale for blocking the expansion of charter public schools and denying parents more public school options. Reimbursement provides districts with a significant amount of time to adjust their budgets for the loss of students.

The Recorder is also incorrect in saying that the state hasn’t funded reimbursement for the past two fiscal years. Last year, the account was funded at 95 percent and this year, it’s 75 percent. We do not believe the state should underfund its commitments, but losing a portion of funding for kids you are no longer educating is no reason to stop the expansion of the most successful public schools in the country.

MARC KENEN

executive director

Massachusetts Charter Public School Association

Boston

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