Letters to the Editor

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I-1240: Let’s fully fund public education first

Letter by Scott M. Carswell, Tacoma on Oct. 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | No Comments »
October 22, 2012 2:20 pm

Soon I will have completed 2½ years of rigorous training to earn a master’s degree in education. This training is in response to Washington’s ongoing work to improve public schools by ensuring well-qualified educators. We now have one of the most stringent teacher certification requirements in the U.S.

Here are two salient points to consider about charter schools.

• Those students who are failing high school now began their journey 12 years ago – under administrators, policies and curriculum that are no longer in place today,

• Class sizes: While student teaching last year, I had well over 30 students in one of my middle school classrooms. In sharp contrast, many of the “successful” charter schools have classroom sizes of only 15 students. Class size matters.

I offer a simple equation:Fully funded public schools + enforcing a cap on students per classroom = higher achieving students.

Today standards and stakes in public education are higher than ever before. We don’t need to take money away from the already underfunded public school system. Initiative 1240 will divert money to charter schools. Additionally, it allows a charter school to take over space in public school buildings, crowding the existing students into smaller spaces.

The bottom line is that charter schools are quasi-public ventures that funnel money from public education to private interests. It’s not just about improving education. Let’s not stall the progress that is currently under way to improve our children’s education. Vote no on charter schools.

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