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Hillary Clinton is going to win all the electoral votes in Massachusetts, so it’s kind of pointless for us to crusade for either candidate in the upcoming election. But there are several other things on the ballot that will be contested, which is why we’re putting together another Turtleboy Ticket for November. We’ve endorsed Kate Campanale for State Rep out of Leicester/Worcester. And today we’re gonna talk about the issue that seems to be getting the most time on the airwaves – Question 2. This would lift the current cap on the number of charter schools that can exist in this state. Charter Schools call themselves public schools because they’re financed by the taxpayers. But they operate very differently, and at the end of the day they are a scam. Here’s the Top 12 reasons you should vote No on Question 2 and keep the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts….
14. You can get a great education at any public school.
This Turtleboy went to South High School. Many would label this a “failing school” because of its relatively low test scores. You would think that it’s impossible to learn there if you didn’t go there. But it’s not. Classes in public schools still use tracking, so if your kid is an honors student they will not be in class with all the yo-yo’s. Schools like South, North, Southbridge, Lawrence, and other places dealing with high amounts of at-risk students have a plethora of teachers anxious to teach kids. The problem is that many of their students simply don’t care, and their parents don’t value education. But if you are willing to learn, and your parents do care, you can get a great education at a public school. Every year Doherty, Burncoat, North, and South send kids to Ivy League schools. They just aren’t making headlines because the Turtlegram can’t get any clicks off of that.
13. We’re closing schools left and right, so why are we opening new ones?
In the last 10-15 years Worcester has lost many neighborhood elementary schools including New Ludlow, Harlow Street, Mill Swan, and Dartmouth Street. Spencer recently closed Maple Street Elementary. That’s because it’s too expensive to operate all these buildings. So how does it make any sense to keep opening up new buildings and pay for maintenance staff, teachers, administrators, supplies, and the insane heating bills that come from New England winters?
12. Charter Schools can become SJW training academies that fill kid’s brains with propaganda.
Charter Schools can and have become places where agenda driven adults use kids as props for political stunts. Let’s look at what happened at Seven Hills Charter School in Worcester. They forced their students to hold signs listing “microaggressions” that people have said to them. A microaggression is when someone asks you a question and freak out about it and call them racist. For instance, here’s one of the girls that Seven Hills Principal Krista Piazza made hold a sign listing a microaggression allegedly said to her:
If that sign looks familiar then it’s probably because you read this 2013 Buzzfeed article in which adults held signs about microaggressions people said to them. Krista Piazza and the staff at Seven Hills forced kids to copy these signs and pose with them so they could play social justice warriors for the day:
They did it a bunch too:
Social justice warriors are bad enough to begin with. But this is just plain lazy to top it off. They plagiarized a Buzzfeed article because they couldn’t come up with their own imaginary tales of oppression. The taxpayers paid for this to happen.
Krista Piazza also drafted this petition to the President, asking him to “change the ELL label to “Multilingual Students” because “The term English Language Learner carries negative connotations and does not value the other languages and cultures that students come from.” The best part is she pretended that a group of sixth graders got together and drafted this petition. As if 11 year olds give a shit about PC semantics. In reality she was once again using her charter school kids as a pawn in her never ending quest for political correctness.
Then there was that charter school in New Bedford during the Ferguson protests that forced second grade students to stand in the cold holding black lives matter propaganda outside of their school.
Their “executive director” is a Teach For America lackey who was using 7 year olds, who should be playing games and enjoying life, as pawns in his PC game of world domination.
Schools are supposed to be places where kids go to learn. We don’t need ideologues on either side using them as a way to brainwash kids. But if the cap is lifted then any person with strong political opinions and enough financial backing can create a SJW training camp. This is now why schools exist.
11. Charter Schools cost the taxpayers more money and increases the size and power of the government.
When a new charter school opens up, they receive the money allocated for each student that would have gone to the public school. So right there your net gain and loss is zero. However, in the first year the state also reimburses each kid’s sending district (the public school they would normally go to) 100%. So if Jimmy wants to go to a charter school, and his sending district spends $12,000 per year for every student, then the charter school gets $12K AND his sending district gets $12K. For the next five years his sending district gets 25% ($3,000) per year from the taxpayers for a kid the don’t have:
This not only hurts taxpayers whose kids go to public schools (because they’re slowly losing money) it also hurts the rest of the taxpayers because we’re paying for this experiment. Conservatives are allegedly in favor of less government spending. All this does is increase government spending while slowly siphoning money away from needy public schools.
10. Charter schools can be selective.
Charter schools claim they’ll take anyone, but many of them have entrance exams. Regardless, the mere fact that parents sign their kids up for charter school lotteries shows that they are more invested in their children’s education than some deadbeat who hasn’t seen their kid’s report cards since 9/11. Charter schools are nothing less than publicly funded private schools. Charter schools enroll between 0-7% of students with disabilities (mostly mild), while public schools in those districts enroll over 13%. Charter schools have disproportionate amounts of special education and ELL students as well. You cannot consider yourself a public school if your student population doesn’t reflect the public it serves. That’s because charters are publicly financed private schools. If there were no lotteries and charter schools randomly selected students from public schools, then we’d support them. But instead they get the pick of the litter and leave the public schools with whatever is left over.
9. Charter schools can kick kids out.
If a kid acts like a constant dooshnozzle, or is failing all his classes, or is chronically absent, a charter school has the ability to dump that kid and bring in a new kid who actually wants to be there. This is a good thing, but then where do they go? Public schools don’t have that option and are left with whatever is left over. Charter schools claim that they are public schools, but if they’re not playing by the same rules then this is simply a lie.
Charter schools choose their own management structure: 67% of all charter schools are independently run non-profit, single site schools; 20 percent are run by non-profit organizations that run more than one charter school; and just under 13 percent are run by for-profit companies. As we’ve learned from Mosaic, there is nothing non-profit about non-profits.
Our kids are not capital for investors to profit off of.
7. Charter schools don’t get results.
Because of the obvious advantages charter schools have with more parental involvement as well as parental and student contracts, charter schools should be destroying public schools on performance on standardized tests. But they’re not. On average nationwide charter schools perform about the same as public schools do. In some regions public schools perform better, and in others charter schools perform better. It’s embarrassing and humiliating that charter schools are not destroying public schools in test scores, considering all of the advantages they have.
6. Charter school teachers are Teach for America scabs who can’t get real teaching jobs.
One of the driving forces behind charter schools is to destroy teacher’s unions. Teachers bargain their contracts and expect districts to follow the contract. Charter school teachers are grossly underpaid and non-unionized, so charters have the ability to arbitrarily extend the school day, increase health insurance contributions, and even decrease salary, without any input from the teachers. As a result, no one with a brain or any self respect teaches in a charter school for too long. If they were qualified, they would work in a public school where salary is more appropriate for a professional with a Master’s Degree, and contracts are collectively bargained. Turnover is extremely high, and thus charter schools are reliant on young, fresh out college, inexperienced, Teach for America novices to educate their kids. Having such high turnover rates for teachers is not good for a child’s education, and if it doesn’t help kids then we shouldn’t be doing it.
5. Charter school boards are not elected and thus are not accountable to the people.
We elect a School Committee in Worcester and they ultimately set policy in the public schools. Charter school boards are appointed and accountable only to those who have invested in the school. As a matter of fact here is a link for you if you wanna open up your own charter school. Ya got that? You can just go online, start a school, and take money away from public schools if you wanna make a quick buck. This will happen all the time if the cap on charter schools is lifted.
4. Charter schools are not subject to laws that limit the amount of suspensions they can dish out like charter schools.
Public schools are handcuffed by state laws that limit the amount of suspensions they can give. Charter schools suspend students at a significantly higher rate than public schools, and push them out if the suspensions continue. Although we have no problem with schools suspending kids, if charter schools are public schools then they should be playing by the same rules as public schools. When you get rid of all your problem students, you are no longer a public school because public schools are forced to take all students. Charter schools are nothing but private schools financed by the taxpayers.
3. If every publicly funded school became a charter school, then there would be no more public schools.
One of the reasons politicians are so obsessed with charter schools is that they believe the free market model of competition will breed success. This works in business, but it doesn’t work with schools. If it all went as planned charter schools would perform better than public schools and public schools would be shut down after chronic underperformance. Eventually there would be no public schools and every school would be a charter. What would happen then? Where would all the bad kids go? Wouldn’t that just make charter schools the new public schools? Wouldn’t they then be forced to follow the current guidelines that public schools are forced to adhere to? Popsicle headache.
2. Charter schools take money away from public schools.
Public schools are underfunded enough as it is, but on average a public school loses close to $10,000 worth of funding for every student who leaves that school and enrolls in a charter because the money follows the student. Don’t like the fact that your kids are going home begging for supplies for their classroom? Don’t support charter schools.
1. Charter schools pay their directors ridiculous salaries.
Check out some of these job listings for charter school executives on Indeed. Charter schools have CEO’s because they are businesses and our children are their product. If a product isn’t selling then they get rid of that product. They pay themselves whatever the unelected board wants to pay them, and since they are funded by not only taxpayer dollars but also money from wealthy philanthropists, these salaries can get pretty high. Washington D.C. spends over $600 million a year on charter schools, and the charter school CEOs get paid in upwards of $350,000 a year. There is also no way of tracking how charter schools are spending taxpayer money and the frequently do not respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. They are paid by the taxpayers but are not accountable to them in any way. Eva Moskowitz, the chief executive of the nonprofit Success Academy network in Newark, made $578,420 last year. Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the nonprofit Harlem Children’s Zone, made $553,000 last year.
The bottom line is that Turtleboy would support charter schools if they did the following:
- Chose their students completely at random without any entrance exams or lotteries that require parents to sign up.
- Charter schools have a proportional population to the public schools in terms of SPED and ELL students.
- Charter schools have to find a way to deal with problematic students the same way public schools do.
- Charter school boards are elected by the public.
- Charter school expenditures are publicly viewable.
- Charter schools are not to use students for political causes.
- Salaries for charter school CEO’s fall in line with public school principal salaries.
- Charter school teachers are held to the same standards that public school teachers are in terms of licensure.
- Charter schools cannot accept money from philanthropists who seek to have influence on the way the school is run.
The only thing I don’t like about voting No on question 2 are the people I’m associated with as a result. The SJW brigade has taken up the cause of No on 2, so it’s understandable if you are inclined to vote Yes to spite them. Don’t get me wrong – I hate that we’re with the people we normally crap on for this one. But this is a question that liberals and conservatives should agree on because it increases the role of the government while also taking money from needy public schools.
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