Governor's Charter School Plan Hurts Taxpayers And Schools
Plan to increase number of charter schools uses taxpayer dollars to fund schools with no track record of success
Governor LePage plans to introduce legislation that would eliminate the cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate in Maine. The Maine Education Association is opposed to this shortsighted plan which allows state funding to follow the student to a charter school, operated by a company not held to the same standards as public schools.
“The Maine Education Association is not opposed to charter schools as a whole. However, the way charter schools are currently operated under this administration is unacceptable,” said Lois Kilby-Chesley, teacher and President of the MEA.
Charter schools in Maine are not obligated to hire certified teachers and they are not controlled by a democratically elected body, like a school board.
“It is not acceptable to allow taxpayer dollars to pay for charter schools that are truly an education experiment nationwide. It might as well be taxation without representation. To take taxpayer money to fund charters puts our students’ education at risk when we cannot prove if the charter school is actually educating our children,” added Kilby-Chesley.
With an unlimited number of charter schools in Maine, as the Governor proposes, schools in rural communities may be forced to close as students pull out and attend a charter. This is a problematic for entire communities, especially those where the school is at the center of the town. If even a few students pull out of a public school to attend a charter, schools in smaller towns may be forced to close.
“Instead of focusing on expanding a charter school program that may not work, we should focus our efforts and taxpayer dollars on making our already successful public schools even better,” added Kilby-Chesley.
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Charter schools impact every town and person in Maine. Here are a few of the news reports with more information.