To the editor:
After studying the voter's pamphlet and making many questioning phone calls to various people and organizations here and in other states that have charter schools to gather information both pro and con in an effort to make a wise decision before voting, I am voting no on the Public Charter School Initiative 1240 for the following reasons:
1. According to the voter's pamphlet, it will take more than $600,000 per year just to administer the new schools. Of course this money will be either taken away from our public schools that are already financially stressed, or will add new taxes.
2. Adding further to the financial problem of our public school system is the fact that the state per pupil money for any student transferring to the Charter school, will also be transferred to the Charter school.
3. Charter schools advocates say they will have more “flexibility” concerning curriculum, staffing, budgets, etc. If so, and they are to be considered a “public school;” why can't our established public schools have the same flexibility? If they can't have those same advantages, then why not?
4. Money. The influx of outside money from anyone or any organization from anywhere that Charter schools can have, seems to be the major overriding difference. This raises a huge red flag for me. How much influence will this money have on who will be administering and teaching? What will be taught? When and How? Do huge sums of donated money have strings attached? Shouldn't, but could it? I think this a legitimate concern.
5. Which children will likely be attending these schools? The children of the parents that really care about their child's education by supporting them and their school with time and effort already? These same parents and their support will also be gone from our public school system. Yes, it's open to all, but who really will be going there?
If we can afford public charter schools, and they have such significant advantages, why can't we try harder to make our already established public school system the same and give all our children the same advantages?
Until then, that's why I'm voting no on charter schools.
James E. Rehaume