Teachers Fight to Limit Charter School Expansion in District

By Kate Anslinger

Winthrop Teacher Association president, Adam Sullivan, was present at last week’s School Committee meeting, suggesting a resolution that will help prevent the spread of local charter schools in the district.

Sullivan, along with the majority of the teachers association and members of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) believes that the addition of charter schools could lead to a negative impact on the district’s financial situation.

“When a student leaves the public school to go to a charter school, it costs money,” said Sullivan. “And even if that student comes back to the public sector, that money doesn’t come back to the district.” According to Sullivan, charter schools and public schools don’t fall under the same umbrella regarding standards and teaching methods.

“The point of view of the teachers association is that money leaving will result in a loss of staff positions and resources, which ultimately affects the students,” he said.

If the resolution presented by Sullivan is accepted, the charter school expansion in the district will be limited. Winthrop public schools are losing $172,273 to Commonwealth charter schools this year, according to Sullivan, even after state reimbursements.

“Winthrop School Committee is proud to join the 73 other school committees across the Commonwealth in standing with the ‘Save Our Public Schools Campaign to ensure that ALL students have access to the education they deserve,” said School Committee member Valentino Capobianco, “We are already losing over $170,000 to charter schools, we can’t afford to lose even more. We hope our fellow residents will join us in voting NO on Question 2 on the statewide election in November.”

In other School Committee updates, there have been revisions to the elementary school handbooks. The updates include:

  • An addition to the homework policy for first and second graders.
  • Threats have been added to the prohibitive behavior and conduct section of the handbook, as a result of past incidents.
  • A welcome back letter will be sent out, which will include a copy of the signature page, directions on how to find the handbook and information on who to contact in the event translation is needed.

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