Charter school lawsuit is part of a larger effort to privatize public education

MTA President Barbara Madeloni issued the following statement on Tuesday, September 15, in response to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court seeking to lift the cap on Commonwealth charter schools:

This lawsuit is part of a far-reaching goal of privatizing public education in our Commonwealth.

This lawsuit demonstrates how the charter school movement ignores the will of the majority — which is at the center of our democracy — to benefit the few.

If the lawyers pursuing this lawsuit truly cared about providing children with a high-quality public education, they would be advocating for state funding and other initiatives that benefit all students — not for establishing a parallel system of publicly funded, privately run schools.

This lawsuit demonstrates how the charter school movement ignores the will of the majority — which is at the center of our democracy — to benefit the few. Local school committees, which have no say over the operation of charter schools, almost always oppose charter schools in their communities, as do a majority of the local taxpayers who must pay for them.

They oppose charters because charters hurt public schools by draining funds and forcing staff and program cuts. They also oppose charters because charters promote a two-tiered system of education that is extremely harmful to the common good.

Most charters fail to educate students with the greatest needs, thereby leaving the public schools with fewer resources to educate a higher-need population. As the NAACP rightly states, charter schools provide “separate and unequal conditions for success.”

The students represented in this legal action definitely deserve a quality education. So do their neighbors and friends who attend district public schools. The best way to make sure every student gets a high-quality public education is to advocate for funding, policies and practices that lead to excellent public schools for all.

That is what the MTA stands for, and we will do all we can to see that it is achieved throughout Massachusetts.

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