Charter school rally
Several hundred charter school students, administrators and parents rallied in front of the State House yesterday to lobby the state Senate to approve Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to lift the cap limiting the number of charter school seats in Massachusetts.
Wearing blue tee shirts from Great Schools Massachusetts, a coalition of pro-charter school groups led by the New York-based Families for Excellent Schools, the students and parents listened to speeches by Baker (via video), Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Lawrence state Rep. Frank Moran.
Charter school advocates say the schools provide students with an alternative to failing schools in Massachusetts districts. Many of the students at the rally were buses in from communities with struggling school districts, including Lawrence, Chelsea and Springfield. District school supporters complain the state’s system of funding pits charter expansion against funding for the rest of the schools in a district.
Last year the state Senate refused to support legislation allowing an increase in charter school seats unless the Legislature approved funding to partially reimburse districts for funds lost to charters.