Post Content

22027137852_3830317a91_k

On the steps of one of the state’s most successful charter schools, and joined by students, parents, and teachers, Governor Charlie Baker announced legislation expanding educational opportunity and access to charter schools. The bill adds up to 12 new Commonwealth public charter schools and/or expansions annually, focusing the growth in districts that are performing in the bottom 25% of districts statewide. (Read the Press Release)

“There are 37,000 kids who want to get into a charter school. 37,000 families who want something bigger and better for their children,” said Governor Baker at the Brooke Charter School in Mattapan. “Every child in the Commonwealth deserves the opportunity to access high-quality education regardless of their zip code or background, and this bill would help make that a reality.”

This legislation puts mechanisms in place to make sure that charter schools are able to – and do – serve more of the students they aim to educate, including low-income students, English Language Learners, and students with learning disabilities. Charters would be allowed to use a weighted lottery system that provides additional weight to high-need and low-income students, as well as students within a particular geographic zone.

Lift the Cap: Charter School Announcement, 10.08.2015Lift the Cap: Charter School Announcement, 10.08.2015“Unless the cap is lifted, our kids will have to go to another school. They’re going to have to leave the school that they love, and that is not fair for our kids,” said Rodolfo Aguilar, a parent of two elementary school students at Brooke Charter School. “Governor Baker, thank you for standing for us. And thank you for standing for the kids across the state.”

Randy, a student at Brooke Charter School, got emotional as he spoke about his future and that of his two brothers: “As an 8th grader, this is the time of year I have to start thinking about where I want to go for high school. Right now, there is a cap on charter schools that is keeping Brooke Charter from getting a high school and it’s not fair to students like me. I know that if I went to a Brooke High School, I would be prepared for college.”

The bill filed by Governor Baker would also create new opportunities for charters to partner with districts in turning around their lowest-performing schools and closing the achievement gap by more effectively leveraging the expertise and demonstrated success of charter school operators.

“We have some of the best charter schools in the nation, and this legislation would allow more families access to them, while opening up new opportunities for district-charter partnerships on behalf of communities with the greatest educational challenges.” Secretary of Education James Peyser.

Lift the Cap: Charter School Announcement, 10.08.2015

Lifting the Charter Cap

Background Information:

A Commonwealth charter school is a tuition-free public school granted a five-year charter by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and overseen by an independent board of trustees. A Horace Mann charter school is a tuition-free public school operated under a five-year charter approved by the local school committee and granted by BESE. Horace Mann charter schools are operated and managed by a board of trustees independent of the local school committees. All charter renewals are based on meeting performance standards. Massachusetts law first authorized charter schools in 1993, and the first Massachusetts charter schools opened in 1995.

Current Massachusetts law (M.G.L. Chapter 70, Section 89) limits the growth of charter schools to 120, no more than 72 of which can be Commonwealth charter schools, with the remaining 48 reserved for Horace Mann charters. It also establishes financial limits on the enrollment sizes of Commonwealth charter schools. According to a May 2015 report by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, more than 37,000 students were placed on waiting lists for the 2015-16 school year.

Written By:

Tags: , , ,

Recent Posts

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy posted on Jul 25

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has injected $2.8 billion into highway infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes. Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT Secretary Pollack, and Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver visited communities across the Commonwealth highlighting the   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Where broadband internet changes everything posted on Jul 5

Where broadband internet changes everything

In May 2017, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Berkshire County leaders to tour downtown small businesses that are benefiting from upgrades made by Charter Communications and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s (MBI) Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program. The program and investments in broadband   …Continue Reading Where broadband internet changes everything

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking posted on Jun 29

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking

Continuing to prioritize a high level of access to the Commonwealth’s natural resources, and recognizing the economic, recreational, environmental, transit and public health benefits of a state trail network, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced additional funding commitments to further develop   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking