Selected readings on US charter schools
Hugh Bailey, in his recent column, “Spend the money where it’s needed most” (published March 29) forgot an important fact when he advocated against charter schools: Public charter schools are actually making a difference in the lives of children in our community.
As pastor of Russell Temple CME Church in Bridgeport’s East End, I’ve witnessed the impact that poor educational options have on our children. I’ve seen how a community can be degraded by poverty, torn apart by violence, and left to wallow in a system that keeps kids segregated based on wealth and race.
I’ve also seen the good that high-quality public school options can do. In particular, I’ve seen that charter public schools accept any child that applies, regardless of the color of their skin or how much money their parents make. Attend any public lottery and you can witness this. Most importantly, I’ve seen the students in these schools thrive.
Mr. Bailey, like so many others who advocate for the status quo, says do nothing, change nothing. He would like us to think that eliminating a public school option that’s actually uplifting our children makes sense. I’m sorry to break it to you Mr. Bailey, the community’s not buying more of the same. We need reform and we need it fast. The thousands of parents on charter school waitlists should be a clear indication that if anything, the community is demanding more of this option.
The solution to fixing our public schools is not Mr. Bailey’s — it is every parents right to choice, and it’s not to deny students at charter public schools the same rights and privileges afforded to students at other public schools. The solution is to provide high-quality public options for our children — be they charter, magnet or traditional — and to fund all public school students equitably.
We should be listening to parents, not silencing their voices. There are thousands of students on waiting lists, hoping for a seat in a charter public school. Should we disregard the desires of those parents — should we ignore their belief that public charter schools can provide the best possible education for their children? Certainly not.
Charter schools are public schools. And children attending these public schools deserve to be fairly funded. By equitably funding all public schools, we are spending the money where it’s needed most and the results are proven: our children’s education and Bridgeport’s future.
Source: CTPost.com – by the Rev. William D. McCullough