Charter school principal disappointed with outcome of Question 2

Holyoke Community Charter School had hoped to expand into high school grades

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The rejection of Ballot Question 2 is being felt in at least one local school. The question asked voters whether they wanted to allow an expansion in the number of charter schools in the state, and how many students could enroll in existing schools.

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Stacy Blanco’s four children have attended the Holyoke community charter school. She’s been anxious to have her 9 year old attend high school here as well. She’s angry Tuesday’s rejection of Question Two, Charter School Expansion, will prevent that from happening.

Stacy Blanco, told 22News, “We passed a vote for marijuana, we passed a vote for animals to have more space to stretch their legs or whatever, but we didn’t pass the vote for our children to have more options in education.”

The Holyoke Community Charter School has served students from kindergarten through eighth grade since it opened in 2005. Principal Dr. Sonia Pope told 22News that they had hopes of expanding into the high school grades, but with the rejection of Question 2, it appears they are unable to do so for now.

Dr. Sonia Pope said, “To send them to ocllege, track them from there 4-5 years on college and bring them back to the city of holyoke to be the productive citizens we know we produce at our school.”

Pope said she believes the question was defeated through “misinformation.” Opponents of Question 2 argued that charter schools siphon money away from traditional public schools; something that supporters of the question had disputed. She said the fight’s not over. This charter school advocate predicts the issue could be back on the ballot for the next statewide election int two years.

There are nearly 750 students currently attending the Holyoke Community Charter School, and Pope said that there are some 300 students on their waiting list.