School Committee Votes to Oppose Question 2

By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.

The Everett School Committee, led by its chairman Frank Parker, took the unusual step Monday night of weighing in on an upcoming ballot question in the November election.

The board voted unanimously to oppose Question #2 on the November ballot, which seeks to raise the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts.

The item was placed on the agenda by Parker, who sought his colleagues support in speaking out against Question #2 and any increase in Massachusetts Charter Schools under the current funding formula.

Following the meeting, Parker and Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire both noted the impact additional charter schools in and near Everett could have on the district’s funding.

“We are charged about $7,000 per student for every Everett student who leaves our schools and goes to a charter school and that adds up,” noted Foresteire. “And, it’s not like losing those students to the charter schools makes it possible for us to close a school, we lose the funding for that child, but we still have to run our district…the fact is that charter schools drain resources away from the regular public schools.”

Parker noted that advertising in favor of Question #2 is misleading and said that “charter schools disproportionately underserve” non-native English speakers and students of immigrant families, leaving the students facing the biggest challenges in the regular public education system, but with less funding available to teach them.

“The funding formula for Charter schools is broken and until it is fixed, we should not be raising the cap,” said Parker.

Proponents of raising the cap on charter schools note that charter schools offer alternatives for students who have trouble with the regular education environment and point to statistics that show charter schools outperforming public school districts in many places as proof that the system works.

However, Foresteire, Parker and other members of the School Committee noted that some charter schools are for-profit operations that use public funds to make money for their investors and that in many cases charter schools are able to avoid taking on difficult to teach students or students with learning disabilities, meaning that those students test scores are not counted in the statistics that show charter schools’ successes.

2 comments for “School Committee Votes to Oppose Question 2

  1. Senior citizen
    September 3, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    One question: What is the cost per year for educating an Everett Public School student? Supt. Foresteire states “We are charged about $7,000 per student for every student who leaves our schools and goes to a charter school.” As I see it, if the student leaves the Everett Public School System and it would have cost the same or more to educate him/her had they stayed in that system, the expense or educating that student would be negated when they leave the system for the charter school.

  2. Jack Covey
    October 10, 2016 at 6:21 am

    During the next month leading up to Tuesday, November 8, as you see or listen to the slick commercials promoting “YES” on Question 2, or view the slick mailers you find in your mailbox, or listen to robo-calls, think about this following post:

    The latest is that over $21.7 million of out-of-state money from the most ruthless capitalists who have ever walked the Earth — Eli Broad, the Walton family of Walmart, Wall Street hedge fund managers, etc. — is pouring into Massachusetts to pass Question 2.

    Read this well-researched article here for that $21.7 million figure:

    These profit-minded plutocrats who are pouring in this money obviously …

    — do not live in Massachusetts,

    — have no children, grandchildren, or other relatives that attend public schools in Massachusetts

    — have never given a sh#% about the education of middle or lower income until recently, when they realized they could make a buck off privatizing Massachusetts schools via the expansion of privately-run charter schools,.

    They want to these corporate charter schools to replace truly public schools — the ones that, for generations, have been accountable and transparent to the public via democratically elected school boards, and which are mandated to educate ALL of the public… including those hardest or most difficult to educate … special ed., English Language Learners, homeless kids, foster care kids, kids with difficult behavior arising from distressed home lives.

    Are proponents of Question 2 seriously making the argument that out-of-state billionaires and Wall Street hedge fund managers are pumping in all this money because those folks care so much about the education of kids in Massachusetts?

    You really think they are NOT seeking a big money return on these ($21.7 million campaign donations?

    Does that pass the smell test?

    Can you provide an example of JUST ONE TIME in the past where they poured in this kind of cash to something … no strings attached, and with no expectations of return?

    If, as Q 2 supporters like Marty Walz claim, the most ruthless capitalists that have ever walked the Earth are now kicking in this kind of cash to pass Question 2 merely because they care about children’s education —

    … and if they are not about their profiting through the privatization of public schools brought about by the expansion of privately-run charter schools,

    … then I’m sure one of you Q 2 supporters could google and find a past example where they have done something similar .. .again out of generosity… with no expectation of an eventual monetary return…

    Something like …

    “Well, back in 2000-something, or 1900-something, these same folks donated $20 million to the (INSERT CHARITABLE CAUSE HERE). Here’s the link that proves this.”

    No, I didn’t think so. When this was brought up in a debate, Mary Walz refused to address it, saying, “We need to talk about the kids, not the adults.” Well, keeping money-motivated scum from raping and pillaging Massachusetts public schools IS CARING ABOUT THE KIDS, Marty!

    So the real question is:

    To whom do the schools of Massachusetts belong? The citizens and parents who pay the taxes there?

    Or a bunch of money-motivated out-of-state billionaires and Wall Street hedge fund managers who are trying to buy them via Question 2, and the expansion of privately-managed charter schools which they control, or also profit from their on-line and digital learning products that will be sold to these charter school chains?

    If you believe the former, THEN FOR GOD’S SAKE, VOTE “NO” ON QUESTION 2.

    Send them a message: Massachusetts schools are NOT FOR SALE!!!

    Oh and go watch the John Oliver charter school video:

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