In 2016, Massachusetts voters decisively rejected a referendum to expand the charter sector. State officials don’t care. They are ignoring local resistance and going full speed ahead, as Citizens for Public Schools reports.

The push for charter school expansion in Massachusetts continues, despite the clear message sent by voters in 2016, when 62% said no to Question 2 and charter school expansion.

It’s time to speak out, this time against charter expansion proposals in New Bedford and Haverhill. Contact the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) by December 3 (the deadline for public comment) at charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

New Bedford’s Alma del Mar charter school is asking to expand by 1,188 seats, and Global Learning seeks 100 additional seats. This would cost New Bedford Public schools roughly $15 million a year, beyond the $14 million the district already loses to charter schools.

CPS Board Member and New Bedford School Committee member Joshua Amaral described the stakes for his community in a Commonwealth Magazine article titled “Ignore the charter school think tank crowd.” Amaral writes, “To put it simply, the district cannot afford a single additional charter seat, let alone a doubling of its charter enrollment.”

In Haverhill, the national Wildflower chain has applied to open a 240-seat Montessori charter school. The district already loses more than $3 million a year to a Montessori charter school and, like New Bedford, cannot afford to lose more.

New Bedford and Haverhill students, teachers and families need investments in democratically accountable schools that serve all children, not millions of dollars diverted to charter expansion