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Date Published: May 31, 2019

Author: Dominic Slowey

Statement can be attributed to Tim Nicolette, Executive Director
BOSTON, MA – May 31, 2019 – Charter public schools in Massachusetts design their programming to meet the unique needs of kids and families in the communities in which they live. In New Bedford, Alma del Mar collaborated with local officials, members of the Kempton community, and the state to design a school model that would do just that.

Unfortunately, special interests derailed that plan, which would have given the families of New Bedford access to a high-quality, neighborhood public school. This, despite the fact that aspects of the compromised plan would have directly addressed the factually incorrect, though widely shared, myths around charter public school enrollment. If one needed evidence of what is the true motivation of special interest groups opposing charter public schools, you need look no further: preserving the status quo.

While we are heartened that many families in New Bedford will still have access to additional high-quality seats at a second Alma del Mar charter public school this fall, our hearts go out to the families who’ve now been informed that they are no longer zoned into the alternative Alma del Mar model. Decisions that they made in the best interests of their children’s education have been blocked by the self-serving interests of people who live outside those neighborhoods and don’t send their children to those underperforming schools.

Charter public schools in New Bedford and across the Commonwealth will continue to innovate and collaborate because we believe we are a stronger educational community when we come together to put the needs of kids first.