What voting “No” on Question 2 means for charter schools

"No" supporters argue more charter schools could hurt the other schools that educate 96% of students in the state.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s important to remember charter schools are public schools, but some argue expansion will take benefits away from traditional public schools. On November 8th, you’ll decide whether to expand charter schools in Massachusetts.

A “No” vote on ballot question 2 would make no change in current laws relative to charter schools. Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined teachers and education groups supporting a “No” vote on Question 2. They argue more charter schools could hurt the other schools that educate 96% of students in the state.

Those who support a “No” vote also argue expanding charter schools takes funding away from traditional public schools. If a student leaves a traditional public school for a charter school, the annual funding of that school then leaves the district, and it takes 6 years to reimburse.

More than 140 school committees across the state are against increasing the cap on charter schools; 54 are in western Massachusetts.

In Ludlow, 27 traditional public school students will attend charter schools next year… creating a big financial loss for 2017, as Ludlow public schools superintendent Todd Gazda told 22News. “It’s assessed directly to the town, and it’s a loss of $591,000 for FY 2017. We get reimbursed, but that still gives us a net loss of $467,000.”

Massachusetts public schools are currently underfunded by more than $1 billion. The group “Save Our Public Schools” says with a “Yes” vote, in 10 years, the number of charter schools would nearly triple… costing traditional public schools another billion dollars each year.

Click here to find out what a “Yes” vote means.

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