Laura Bowman, leader of PAA-Roanoke Valley in Virginia, recently published an excellent essay in the Roanoke Times which was picked up by other news organizations, and resulted in an invitation from the Fairfax Education Association to testify with them at the General Assembly and participate in a press conference.
There is a reason for the proliferation of charter schools in this country, and it has little to do with the education and well-being of children, and much to do with lining the pockets of for-profit charter school companies. Our tax dollars, meant for public education and the common good, should not go into these pockets, and should stay invested in our neighborhood public schools.
…Rapidly increasing the quantity of charter schools is not a proven education reform, and as we’ve seen in other states, can lead to lack of accountability, transparency and quality.
…Our localities should have the right to approve or disapprove the establishment of charter schools in our communities, either through direct vote or through our school boards or other elected bodies.
…Public schools are the backbone of our democracy in America. They open their doors each day and take all children in, and educate and nurture them. Our Virginia public schools already practice innovation and promote critical thinking. There is no reasonable rationale for using taxpayer funds to build more charter schools when the more prudent thing to do is to support, and fully and fairly fund, our existing neighborhood schools.