Haverhill Considers Opposition to Lifting Charter School Cap

Haverhill School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr. plans to introduce James McCarty, of the Campaign to Save Our Public Schools.

The Haverhill School Committee may join with other school districts in opposing a ballot initiative that would lift a cap on charter schools.

On Thursday’s meeting agenda, Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr. has requested a presentation from James McCarty of the Campaign to Save Our Public Schools, Boston. It is described as a grassroots “ballot committee” organization of families, parents, educators and students, “formed to oppose the charter school ballot question that would drain millions more in taxpayer money from Massachusetts public schools every year,” according to the group’s website.

Wood said he will introduce James McCarty, who requested time on the agenda, to speak about the group’s campaign.

Under a proposed resolution, included with agenda materials, “the Haverhill School Committee opposes lifting the cap on Commonwealth charter schools.”

“Haverhill is losing $2,807,927 to Commonwealth charter schools and public school districts across the state are losing more than $408 million this year alone – a loss of funds that is undermining the ability of districts to provide all students with the educational services to which they are entitled,” a statement reads. “Commonwealth charter schools often fail to serve the same proportion of special needs students, low-income students and English language learners as the districts from which they receive students and often use high suspension rates to drive out students they don’t want to serve.”

The Massachusetts Senate passed a charter school bill in April, according to the organization. “While it attempts to fix some of the significant flaws in our charter school system, this bill would perpetuate the very serious problem in lifting the cap: the expansion of a separate and unequal education system,” a “Save Our Public Schools” spokesperson added.

In other matters, the school committee is scheduled to revisit the possible selection, from among three finalists, of a permanent director of special education (SPED). The committee, during a special interview session Monday, postponed a decision pending completion of “a full background investigation on all three” by an outside third party. The committee ordered the action following what sources called “dirt” being dredged up on all three candidates.

The Haverhill School Committee meets at 7 p.m., Thursday, in Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.

2 thoughts on “Haverhill Considers Opposition to Lifting Charter School Cap

  1. The argument id flawed in the sense that charter schools have the same effect as a family moving out of the city. The money follows the child. Why don’t they work on improving the school system so that people won’t search for alternatives.

    • There are/were some really great teachers in Haverhill, but the crony and political ideologues know how to screw up a peanut-butter & jelly sandwich. It’s too bad monies directed towards public education in this country are so badly misappropriated as a matter of policy.