The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a powerful editorial in opposition to the expansion of charters into the suburbs. They are currently limited to Missouri’s two biggest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City. The editorial warns that the introduction of charters would threaten the quality and viability of some of the state’s best public school districts. The Republican-sponsored bill to add charters does not include any new funding and allows for renewal of low-performing charter schools.

Besides, charters in the two urban districts have produced meager results. Why have more of what doesn’t work?

The editorial recounts the dismal charter record:

“Some high-profile disasters have resulted from lack of oversight and accountability for charter schools. In 2012, Missouri shut down six Imagine charter schools in St. Louis. Students consistently performed worse on state tests than those attending St. Louis Public Schools while Virginia-based Imagine reaped huge profits from a real estate business.

“About half of the 30-plus charter schools that have opened in St. Louis since 2000 have been shut down for academic or financial failure. That’s hardly a success model worth emulating.

”Nationally, the picture looks even worse. The federal government has wasted up to $1 billion on charter schools that never opened or opened and then closed because of mismanagement or other reasons, according to the Network for Public Education advocacy group.”

Why wreak havoc on successful schools by injecting charters, whose track record in Missouri is poor?