Some Realistic Facts

After reading an article defending why the Democrats denied Federal monies to Charter Schools, I offer you some realistic facts:

Fact: A Charter School is a Public School funded by the State, not the local taxpayer.  All of New Hampshire’s Charter Public Schools receive state funding, totaling approximately $7,100.  In my District, Kearsarge Regional, the town’s people are paying over $16,000 per student to attend. With the exception of approximately $3,636 from the State, most of the remainder is the burden of the town’s people.

Fact: Charter public schools have open enrollment, only limited by availability. Lotteries are held if applications exceed seats. They are non-discriminatory for any student and actually have a high percentage of special needs students. For 2018-19 there were 3,932 students enrolled in New Hampshire Charter Schools, which is only 2.5% of New Hampshire’s public school enrollment.

Fact: Some schools do have open seating for different reasons, yet others are filled to capacity and have long waiting lists. Someone from the North country isn’t going to travel to Nashua everyday because there’s an opening. There are over 1,000 students on a waitlist to attend Charters.

Fact: The standards that Charter Schools must meet are evaluated every five years by the State Board of Education. If their standards are not being achieved, they can be shut down.  We don’t do this to our public education schools.

Fact: Public education works for the majority of children throughout this country. However, for those who are struggling every year, shouldn’t we open doors to other possibilities i.e., Charter Public Schools, Homeschooling, or Virtual Learning?

Fact: A $46 million dollar Federal Grant that was recently rejected by the New Hampshire Democratic Fiscal Committee denied monies not only for new start up Charter Schools, but also those who wanted to expand, or replicate what they have in another town. The monies were not limited to just new charter schools.

Shouldn’t parents be able to choose what is best for their child and not be held down by zip code? Local school boards should be welcoming these opportunities if they want to see children succeed. I’ll end with a quote from the Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut “Our children get only one chance at an education. We should be outraged that only about half of our students reach proficiency, yet we graduate 90% of them. It means embracing new approaches for those students who are not getting what they need from the education we provide them.”

Honorable Natalie Wells