Mass. Senate plans to take up charter school legislation

BOSTON (WWLP) – The demand is high for charter schools, especially in Springfield, and what this bill would do is gradually lift the spending cap to the state’s most under-performing cities.

Charter schools are becoming more and more in demand with 3,974 children on a wait list in Springfield alone.  This week, the Massachusetts Senate plans to take up a bill that would funnel more money to charter schools performing in the bottom 10%.

“We think it’s a critical need, it’s urgent for the future of the youth in Springfield and Holyoke that we are providing other high quality public school options for them, and we think charter schools are filling that mission,” said Marc Kenen of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association.

There are 29 under-performing school districts in Massachusetts, ten in Western Massachusetts alone that would be affected if the bill is signed into law. The bill would gradually lift the charter school spending cap in select districts through fiscal 2022. Skeptics are concerned because the extra charter school money would come out of funding for traditional public schools.

Some under-performing school districts in western Massachusetts are: Springfield, Holyoke, Orange, North Adams, Adams-Cheshire, Chicopee, Easthampton, Charlemont, Greenfield, and Palmer. 22News will keep you updated on what happens when the Massachusetts Senate takes up the bill on Wednesday.

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