Bad Bill: Charter School Regulations

Charter School Regulations

This featured Bad Bill  would create new regulations on charter schools that serve Massachusetts’ most disadvantaged communities. The bill, SB #326, was filed by Senator Marc Pacheco (D – Taunton) and is titled “An Act establishing a moratorium for Commonwealth charter schools.”

The bill would eliminate the current flexibility charter schools have in hiring teachers and force them to follow the restrictions that handicap public schools. Right now, charter schools can hire teachers on their own discretion provided the teacher has passed the state licensing tests. This flexibility is one of the reasons charter schools get good results in some of the Commonwealth’s most underserved communities.

If Sen. Pacheco gets his way, charter schools would only be able to hire teachers who have the education degrees required by public school hiring regulations. This might seem like a good idea on the surface, but one of the reasons charter schools have been successful is their ability to hire talented educators who don’t fit the typical profile of a teacher.

Charter schools are a major education success story in Massachusetts. According to The Boston Globe, “The strides at Boston charter schools — in both math and reading — equaled what students would have learned if they had been in school hundreds of additional days each year,” and “in Boston, the average yearly academic growth for charter school students was more than four times that of their traditional school peers in reading. In math, the academic growth was more than six times greater.”

Charter schools help some of the most disadvantaged communities in Massachusetts. They should be given more resources, not more regulations.

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