Please Consider Joining Me On Voting No on Question 2

By: Mayor Carlo DeMaria

As mayor, I can think of no more important issue for the future of our city than that of the education of all children in Everett. Our children are our greatest resource, and it is my hope that our public school students will stay in Everett as adults and someday shape this great city.

I believe that we must take a very careful approach to any changes to the structure of our public education system in order to achieve positive educational outcomes for all of our students- and for that reason I am voting no on Question 2, the ballot question to add 12 new charter schools each year in Massachusetts.

If Question 2 passes, cities and local school districts will have no say in whether a new charter school opens in their community. We are truly fortunate as a community to have one of the best urban school districts in the state, and this a testament to the tireless work of our public educators. From our superintendent and his leadership team to every teacher and staff member, our public school students receive the benefits of having a highly trained, professional and accountable group of devoted educators working together year after year to promote their success. Our teachers hold advanced degrees and accreditations in order to work in our public schools, and their depth of knowledge in the subject matter that they teach is a key reason why our students achieve at high levels and outperform many other districts across the state.

We know that right now, the student outcomes of charter schools statewide are mixed. Charter school teachers do not need to possess the same rigorous educational background and training that our career public school teachers must possess. Charter schools often do not educate proportional numbers of special education students of English language learners. They are not accountable to the school districts that must fund them and may be founded and staffed by administrators and teachers without any educational training, background or credentials. We know that they can have a disruptive effect on a public school district’s budget, negatively impacting the majority of public school students who remain in traditional public schools by shifting resources away.

I believe fully in the right of parents to make educational choices that are in the best interest of their child, and I do not oppose charter schools. But a ballot question is the wrong way to resolve the debate on charter school expansion. This complicated public policy issue is one that is best left to the state legislature, to help make sure that all facets of the issue are considered in a thorough, deliberative process resulting in a carefully crafted and well-reasoned education policy that protects the public education of all of our students- including the vast majority of our students in our regular public schools.

Please join me in voting no on ballot Question 2.

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