Gabrielle Gurney, an experienced journalist, has written one of the clearest analyses of the fiscal impact of charters on district public schools that I have ever read. The article appears in The American Prospect.


Many people have pointed out that the expansion of charters means budget cuts for district schools. Students in Boston recently took to the streets to protest the loss of teachers and programs caused by diversion of funds to charters.


Gurney says ways that charters were supposed to create excellent schools for the state’s poorest students but that hasn’t happened. In some parts of the state, charters serve as semi-private schools for the middle class.


The he political class who run the state love the idea of charters, and they don’t seem to give much thought to collateral damage to the district schools where most students are enrolled (charters serve less than 5% of the state’s students).


In Brockton, for example, the local comprehensive high school has won national praise for its successful programs. But the state decided to open a charter school in Brockton, over the objections of school leaders. This will mean budget cuts to Brockton High School.


Massachusetts’ leaders seem to be bent on disruption of its state schools. In their rush to innovate, they jeopardize their successful public schools, which other states envy.


Read the article and let me know if you can explain why the state is determined to force their public schools into a competition for students and resources.