MOTION: The Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association will publicly voice its opposition to lifting the cap on charter schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts PTA and National PTA support public charter schools provided the authorizing bodies and schools reflect the positions and principles of National PTA in charters granted and implemented. Massachusetts and National PTA values all PTA units within or affiliated with public charter schools.
While we support all students and teachers in the Commonwealth, charter schools are not accountable to their local communities. The Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump expressed, “If we had unlimited resources, we could create all kinds of parallel systems. But our focus really needs to be on what delivers the most good to the greatest number of kids, instead of siphoning off resources to what are essentially private schools.”
Often, charter schools do not have the ELL and special needs students that require more services. The state should concentrate on providing for preschool programs and more science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics educational opportunities for our students. Further, it is essential that the state make good on the promise to fully provide transportation funding to regional school districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Until Public Charter schools:
- Are open to all students and free of both tuition charges and fees that exceed state or federal laws;
- Are supported by specifically allocated public funds in amounts that do not exceed and do not divert funding from non-charter public schools;
- Are legally organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizations;
- Adhere to all federal and state laws that protect the health and safety of children, prohibit discrimination, ensure access for all children, and comply with the Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Act;
- Comply with federal and state laws governing public schools that require fiscal transparency, responsibility and accountability;
- Provide all education stakeholders, including parents, with absolute transparency concerning both non-public funding sources and any external organization(s) with which the charter school enters into fee-for-service contract(s);
- Ensure that professional staff is certified for the position(s) they hold;
- Work collaboratively with parents to ensure meaningful family engagement in student learning and school success, including the presence of at least one parent on the charter school board; and
- Adhere to mechanism(s) for periodic, independent data collection and evaluation to determine alignment with provisions of the stated charter and ability to meet or exceed expectations required of non-charter public schools.
We, the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association can not support lifting the cap on charter Schools.
SUBMITTED BY: Dr. Erik J. Champy, Past President of the Massachusetts PTA