New Bedford Public Schools meet the needs of every student and do not deserve to have funding siphoned away by privately run charter schools. The same arguments against increasing the number of charter schools exist today as when voters defeated Question 2 in 2016.
· The state will allow an additional 1,225 charter school seats in New Bedford. We are faced with one expansion seeking 1,180 seats, another expansion seeking 100 seats and a new school seeking 1,008 seats.
· New Bedford already pays nearly $14 million annually in tuition to charter schools attended by 1,175 New Bedford students.
· If the state approves reaching the city’s charter school seat cap, New Bedford Public Schools will lose approximately $30 million annually, leading to lost resources and programs, staff cuts and possible school closures.
· Compared to the district public schools, charter schools in New Bedford do not educate the same rate of English Language Learners and students with special learning needs.
· Charter schools push out students who do not conform, and they are closed off to students who arrive in the district mid-year.
· The community has no control over charter schools, and the two proposed expansions will not even be subject to public hearings.