EDITORIAL: Vote No on Question 2

Joanah Diala, Editor in Chief

On November 8, 2016, the Massachusetts Authorization of Additional Charter Schools and Charter School Expansion Initiative, also known as Question 2, was put on the ballot in Massachusetts as an indirect initiated state statute. Question 2 would give the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education the authority to approve 12 new charter schools or to expand existing charter schools as a result of increased enrollment each year beginning on January 1, 2017.

Charter schools are independently run public schools, funded by taxpayer dollars. Charter schools give students from different towns an alternative, and allow for new and non-traditional models of education. They also have more flexibility in terms of who they can hire for teachers, who can get admitted as students, and even the length of their school year.

However, charter school receive their funds from local governments, meaning we, students and families in public schools, have to pay for other students to attend these charter schools.

What exactly would be the point of public schools if we were to expand charter schools? Yes, we are receiving a free and public education for free, but in truth, we are paying for other students to attend a school with much better opportunities that are not open to all students. It contradicts the whole idea of public schools, which are supposed to provide children with the education they need, for no cost and to all students.

If public school communities (teachers, students and parents) have to pay for charter schools, they might as well just put their money into their own public schools for better resources and overall a better learning environment for their children.

Charter schools themselves are not necessarily a bad thing. However, the funds they are receiving should be coming from their own school community, not from those who have children attending public schools that are available to all students.