When West Virginia teachers went out on strike in 2018, setting off a national wave of teachers’ strikes, one of their core demands was “no charter schools.” Governor Jim Justice promised that he would veto any charter school legislation. The teachers know that charter schools divert money from public schools, which are already underfunded in West Virginia. When charter and voucher legislation was introduced this year, the teachers walked out again. They may yet be double crossed by the legislature. Our allies in West Virginia called on the Network for Public Education to speak up on behalf of public schools.

Carol Burris and I wrote this article, which was published in the state’s leading newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

it starts like this:

Stop, West Virginia, before allowing charter schools in your state. We have learned enough about charter waste, fraud and instability over the past 25 years to say, if you love your public schools, don’t be fooled by the empty promises of charter schools.

Every dollar that goes to a charter school or an education savings account voucher will be deducted from your local public schools. The charter movement is promoted by billionaires like the Waltons (Walmart), Betsy DeVos, Michael Bloomberg, Reed Hastings (Netflix), and Bill Gates. The big money behind charters doesn’t know your children or your community.