Charter schools

Published: 9/14/2019 3:49:16 PM

Every type of charter school is not the enemy of rural public schools.

The article authored by Michael Dover and Bethany Seeger (‘Charter schools are not free”) highlights only one of the two types of charter schools in Massachusetts. Curiosity always gets the better of me when omissions occur in articles. Is it a bias or simply a lack of knowledge?

Dover and Seeger’s negative opinion is about details of the “commonwealth” charter school model. This type of charter school is not connected to a school district and is required to recruit students from districts. Commonwealth charter schools are financed by tuition paid by the student’s school district. Most charter schools work this way in Massachusetts and nationwide.

I would like to make readers aware of the second type of charter school here in the Bay State: a Horace Mann Charter School. The Horace Mann school is an in-district charter school. It does not have a requirement to harvest students, does not charge tuition and, is closely governed in the district. The budget is monitored in the district.

Horace Mann-chartered district schools are prohibited from charging tuition. School choice students still come to the district with the same $5,000/student amount. Teachers are still in the teacher’s union with the same salary and benefits. And each new Horace Mann Charter or Charter Conversion automatically qualifies for a $500,000 grant to assist with the transition and start-up costs.

The Horace Mann district charter school statute is an undiscovered gem in Massachusetts’ charter school law. It has none of the features of upsetting public school finance as Dover and Seeger wrote in their letter published Sept. 4.

Our biggest adversary to the Horace Mann model is public misinformation.

Adam Holloway

Warwick




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