A recent column by Global Learning Charter Public School Executive Director Stephen J. Furtado entitled “Senator’s understanding of charter schools is misinformed” is itself what is misinformed (“Your View,” April 4).

The column correctly notes that “Sen. Pacheco stated that charter schools have a ‘significantly lower’ number of special education students.” That is true. Charter schools, including Furtado’s New Bedford charter school, typically serve a much smaller percentage of both special needs students and English language learners than do the area public schools. These students are much more expensive to educate because they need more individualized attention.

Furtado then goes on to claim, “What [Pacheco] did not mention is that charter schools receive no additional state funding to address and serve the unique challenges of these student populations.”


The per-pupil tuition that charters receive includes the costs of educating the whole range of students who attend the charter schools, including those with special needs and English language learners. The “additional” funding is baked into the formula.

The New Bedford Educators Association believes that the state should be using public dollars to support excellent schools for all students. That job is made harder if funds are siphoned off to charter schools, which use an array of enrollment practices to avoid serving the highest-need students.

14 thoughts on “Director’s charter funding claim is only half right … By Lou St. John

  1. I'm more concerned with a school committee member that is typically silent or asleep making a motion to extend the contract to 4 long years under this superintendent. Her contract may outlive this fool.


  2. When you consider that Governor Baker wants to lift the cap off charter schools, I'd say that this is a pretty serious concern.


  3. why bother saying anything to anyone…..school committee is well aware of what Pia Durkin is doing to this district. Teachers have brought up their concerns and as usual they fall on deaf ears. Lou tells us that he needs us at meetings and to stand up for ourselves…well i know my colleagues and I have tried and nothing was done and the district and teachers continue to get blamed for the failures in this district while Durkin gets rewarded with an extension to her contract. This blog has been TOO silent and I have now come to the realization that teachers voices will never be heard and we will always be looked at as the cause for this district to fail when in reality it is the people that are sitting pretty in their offices downtown as well as at the mayor's office.


  4. ^I either attend every school committee or watch them on TV, and I can say that rarely, if ever, I see a teacher speak at a school committee meeting. I'll go on to add that for a school system that must have over 1500 teachers, it's sad that only a handful of teachers even attend the meetings.


  5. This is in response to the comments about not seeing teachers at school committee meetings. Are you a teacher? Is your job on the line if you speak at a school committee meeting? Probably not. You know, because you are either there or watch, that even when someone speaks at the meeting, the school committee says thank you and does not engage in a conversation with the person speaking. There is no dialogue between Durkin or the people speaking. It's sad that parents don't attend the meetings and more people from the community don't attend the meetings as well. Have you ever spoke at the meeting? Probably not, because like many others, you don't think Durkin is doing bad, it must be the teachers, right? I invite anyone to come and teach for a month in our classrooms and experience what we experience. You wouldn't survive. Teachers have met with school committee members and city council members about issues, but as you can see from the fact that they want to renew her contract, they don't listen. Please don't talk about why teachers don't talk or attend unless you walk in my shoes.


  6. The second comment on this thread is the biggest crock of crap that I've read in a long time. Give me a break. You blame everyone but yourself.


  7. ^ You would bitch and moan too! This School Committee is a total disgrace! Just for your information, I do not teach, just a concerned resident and taxpayer.


  8. Sorry to say but there is no bite left in this dog. The DESE through the administrations of the local districts are succeeding in their plan to suppress and ultimately destroy the unions by overworking teachers. Teachers spend so much doing work on their own time that they are literally spent by the end of the day and no energy left to fight the fight against them. In addition, the evaluation process is scewed to create a atmosphere of intimidation. Do not express your concerns! All you have to do is look at how quiet this blog has been this year. No uproar only silence. Their strategy is working and we loose stength every day we remain silent. My prediction; you will see a contract extension for Durkin. Sorry.


  9. Great article by Lou. Factual and real. Compare that with the slowly dying whine brigade who pine for Durkins departure, because the next super will demolish ed reform, like the dream team of Lang and Francis did. Either that or we get taken over, new contract goes in the trash and this era will be the good old days


  10. “Enrollments in teacher education programs are collapsing, in New York and across the nation. Those who enter teaching today are either woefully uninformed of the politicians’ hostility towards them or are prepared to fight a long battle for their children and their profession.”What kind of society makes war on its teachers?


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