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December 18, 2008

A Simple Request

Today is the tenth anniversary of the New York State charter law.  Editorials in the Post and Daily News give excellent summaries of the ten-year history and latest results.  Knowing that state finances are in terrible shape, organizations representing charter schools have modest requests that focus on reforms that have nothing to do with funding.  In particular, they are requesting that successful charter school operators should be able to open new charter schools with a streamlined application (as compared to the multi-hundred-page monster currently required) and that they shouldn't have to assemble a separate board of directors for each new school as is currently the case. 

These requests would cost the state no money.  They represent common-sense improvements to flaws in the current charter law.  Yet my sources tell me that Governor Paterson, widely viewed as a charter school supporter, is ignoring these requests because he doesn't want to create controversy while trying to negotiate other budget matters.  Controversy with whom?  The education establishment, of course.  As they have done throughout charter school history, the establishment tries to maintain or erect roadblocks that prevent charter school progress. 

Please contact Governor Paterson and let him know what you think about this issue.  He probably assumes that you are ignoring this matter.  Are you?



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Sent this off:

I understand that charter schools are seeking some no-cost improvements to the NYS charter law, such as streamlining the application process for operators already running successful schools in NYS.

To support charter schools also requires supporting common-sense improvements like this. Those who would oppose such things are not doing so based on a good-faith counter-argument on the merits, but rather out of a generalized (and misplaced) opposition to charters.

I encourage you to side with kids and common-sense, and will hear about it and notice if you do not.

Great! Now we have a model letter. Thanks for doing this.


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