They’ve taken to using classroom and school space for political messages. Teachers unions are pulling out all the stops to try to defeat Massachusetts’ ballot Question 2 which would allow more public charter schools. The pathetic aspect of this is their advertising that is a big lie. They claim more public charter schools would drain some $400 million from traditional public school. It’s an appalling misrepresentation that in and of itself should motivate parents to vote Yes on Question 2.
The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation—universally seen as nonpartisan and fair—did an in-depth study on the financial impact of charter schools on traditional (including the failing) public schools.
Not only do traditional schools not suffer financial losses due to charter schools, per pupil spending in these district schools increases across the board. Unions are trying to sell the idea that when the money follows the student, it’s a financial hardship on traditional schools. Let’s use our heads. If the student is in a charter school, the traditional school doesn’t need the money it was getting to educate him/her.
Here’s the bottom line on public charter schools. They are largely nonunionized and run in a business-like, results-oriented manner. This scares the crap out of the teachers unions because it’s their own interests that are at the top of their priority list. Public charter schools have the kids’ interest at the top—as it should be.
As a Democrat, I am appalled that the Massachusetts Democratic Party went on record as opposing Question 2. Democrats are supposed to be about lifting people up, particularly up out of poverty and in this case, failing schools.
The Mass. Party puts itself in a position that basically says, “If you’re wealthy, feel free to enjoy an excellent private school. If you’re poor, too bad. You are not getting a shot at an excellent (charter) school because the unions say so.” It’s nothing short of outrageous. “The wealthy win” is a Republican mantra now embraced by the Mass. state Democratic Party.
Not only should voters support (and I believe they will) Question 2, they should remember and oppose politicians who have sided with the teachers union rather than the kids. Vote them out. Get people in office who have their priorities straight.
If this post sounds angry, it’s because it is. I am tired of seeing poor kids in failing schools bring trapped there because the teachers union won’t allow more ways out.