Submitted By Todd on July 16th at 6:01pm
Governor Deval Patrick will unveil a proposal today to nearly double the number of charter school seats allowed in the state’s worst-performing districts, a move expected to trigger a fierce debate on Beacon Hill and send tremors through local school systems.Here's the latest evidence of the contempt that party policies demonstrate for minorities - in a surprise move, Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, has proposed doubling the number of good schools permitted in urban Massachusetts.
The proposal, which requires legislative approval, would create an estimated 27,000 new charter school seats in about 30 districts across the state, from Boston to the Berkshires, according to a copy of draft legislation obtained by the Globe. Lawmakers were briefed on the plan yesterday.Right now, Democrats have frozen the number of successful schools by capping at 9% the amount any district spends on Charter Schools. For most urban areas in Massachusetts, this means that despite their success, and despite the long lines of parents desparate to gain their kids a seat, no expansion of Charter School capacity is permitted.
Education leaders said the scope of the proposed charter expansion is far more dramatic than the Patrick administration had discussed with them as recently as earlier this week.Why would a liberal Democrat like Patrick, a black man who was elected two and a half years ago by David Axelrod in a trial run of the Obama "Yes We Can" campaign, endorse limiting the opportunity of a good education to urban minorities?
The state’s 62 existing charter schools, authorized under the 1993 education reform act, generally operate independently of local school districts and are not unionized. That has earned them the ire of local education leaders, who lose money to the schools, but have no control over them, and of the teacher unions, who have been key allies for Patrick.The teachers unions are business partners of Democrats. In exchange for touting all the non-educational ideals pursued by the unions, Democrats receive the blind support of the labor movement. This creates a money circle - Democrats pursue policies that create an artificial need for more teachers, more dues are collected by the unions, giving labor more resources to devote to re-electing their favorite politicians.
The state places a limit on the number of charter schools statewide, as well as limits in individual districts. While about 60 more charter schools statewide can open under current law, many urban districts, such as Boston, are near the local cap, which limits each district’s spending on charter tuition to 9 percent of its annual net school spending. The governor’s proposal would increase that limit to 18 percent, 6 percentage points higher than he proposed in January.Minority children are left in permanent poverty by the poor educations they receive in the Democrats' schools. Social programs are expanded to care for the non-functioning urban populations created by the Democrats, who then receive the votes of those populations which feel indebted to them.
But charter schools already have proven their worth by outperforming many district schools. What is needed now is consensus on a formula that ensures the growth of the charter school movement without requiring taxpayers to pay twice for the same student. (To keep political peace, taxpayers now pay some school costs to districts for three years after a student departs for charter school.)We have reached a new moment, one in which some Democrats, including the President, are growing uncomfortable with the devastating toll their deal with the unions has taken on generations of urban America. But the resistance is strong.
...after winning election in a 2006 landslide fueled by strong support from the Bay State’s powerful teachers unions—including $3 million in contributions—(Patrick) has pursued the systematic dismantling of reforms that have made Massachusetts the national leader in public education.Deval Patrick hasn't suddenly become pro-child. But he is facing a re-election bid against a formidable Republican next year - one who will surely take him to task for betraying the children of Massachusetts.
Despite the clear success of more than a decade of education reform in Massachusetts, Governor Patrick’s administration has turned its back on the very forces behind that success: it is wavering on standards, choice is under continual fire, and the board of education has been stripped of the independence that for 170 years was Horace Mann’s legacy and had allowed the board to implement reform with a singular focus on improving student achievement.Further, Patrick might not be allowed by his friend, the President, to continue abusing the minorities of Massachusetts.
The governor’s push comes as President Obama is threatening to withhold millions in federal stimulus dollars from states that hinder charter school growth. The US secretary of education, Arne Duncan, will join the governor at a press conference today unveiling the legislation, which will be filed today.With Republicans wondering what issues to use to rebuild their relevance, it is surprising that they continue to let Democrats get away with posturing as the Empathy Party.
Boston charter schools like Roxbury Prep, Boston Collegiate and Academy of the Pacific Rim are among the nation's best. But to find their founders, you'd have to go to New York. These leaders, who have been the lifeblood of the state's charter success, are replicating it where the political climate is far more welcoming.Whether even the President will have the fortitude to stand up to labor when the beast rises up in anger will be interesting to watch. Governor Patrick obviously doesn't move unless pushed. $3 million dollars speaks much louder than do the needs of minority children.