“The American people overwhelmingly support accountability and transparency for charter schools,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “If a school takes public dollars, the public wants some control and oversight of what goes on there. The Charter School Accountability Agenda lays out tangible steps we need to take to guarantee that every child gets a high-quality public education, whether that child is in a neighborhood school or a publicly funded charter school.”
to learn more about the proposed agenda.
Along with their proposal, ITPI and CPD today released the results of a national poll showing overwhelming support for initiatives re strengthen charter school accountability and transparency. The survey of 1,000 voters also found the public favors efforts to improve teacher training and qualifications, prevent fraud, serve students with special needs and ensure that neighborhood public schools are not adversely affected by charters.
Leaders of AFT Connecticut and affiliated unions last week testified to the legislature’s education committee on a proposed bill that would update the state’s nearly 20-year old statute governing charters. They joined allies and advocates on February 26 for a public hearing to urge action on strengthening the quality and improving the public trust of schools operated by CMOs.
AFT Connecticut President Melodie Peters told lawmakers that the current state law is “among the weakest in the nation in regard to transparency and accountability. It lacks sufficient mechanisms to hold charter schools, CMOs, or the State Board of Education (SBOE) accountable for academic, administrative, or financial functions.”
The president of our affiliated New Haven Federation of Teachers, David Cicarella, was among local union leaders to add his voice at the hearing. He shared with the committee concerns raised by his local community over a proposal for a publicly-funded charter that the local school board earlier the same day had dropped.
for press coverage of the New Haven Board of Education’s decision to abandon the proposed charter.
Cicarella told the committee that schools operated by CMOs should “employ the same admissions and transfers policies of traditional public schools. Whether traditional or charter, we are all public schools operating with tax dollars. There should not be two separate sets of rules.”