Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Charter Schools: Chamber continues to advocate for lifting the cap

Last month, the Chamber submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Education in favor of legislation that would lift the cap on charter schools and expand opportunities for students throughout Greater Boston.

Despite their documented success, charter school expansion is presently slowed by a cap that limits student access and constrains innovation. Lifting the cap will offer new educational opportunities and provide encouragement to parents and educators seeking greater creativity and flexibility.

Charter schools have proven to be an effective tool in closing the achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their peers. A recent study released by The Boston Foundation found that students in Boston charter schools consistently outperformed their peers in traditional public schools. The results in math achievement for middle-school students are particularly compelling: the study estimates that the benefit of a single year spent in a charter school was equivalent to closing half of the black-white achievement gap. Similar results of a recent New York study are equally compelling.

In addition, during the recent Senate budget debate, the Chamber and other groups urged Senate support for a measure that would maintain the existing charter school funding mechanism. The Chamber will continue to work with legislative leaders in the coming weeks to ensure continued support for and expansion of the charter school model.

View the Chamber's complete policy agenda here.

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