STATEMENT BY MCPSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARC KENEN ON HOUSE APPROVAL OF BILL TO LIFT CAPS ON CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS

May 23, 2014
Dom Slowey

BOSTON, MA – May 21, 2014 – Approval of this legislation by the House of Representatives today by a vote of 114-35 is a major step forward for parents who are seeking more high quality public school options for their children in the state’s lowest performing school districts.

We are appreciative of the hard work and dedication of House Speaker Robert DeLeo, House Education Chair Alice Peisch, and House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey to promote further education reforms for the Commonwealth’s schoolchildren.

Current legislative caps have frozen charter expansion in Boston, Fall River and Holyoke, and other major urban districts are creeping closer to it every year. The legislation would increase the number of seats allowed in the state’s lowest performing districts by nearly 15,000 – although still not enough to eliminate charter waiting lists in those communities, which now stand at 29,000 children.

We are hopeful we can continue moving this legislation forward in the Senate.

The Commonwealth has the highest performing charters in the country, while serving a high percentage of disadvantaged students. It’s a track record we can all be proud of. This legislation recognizes that record and the important role charters have played in promoting reforms at the district level.