Liveblogging the Education Committee’s Work Session on LD 1801, continued…


Good presentation by Superintendent Perry on what they would like to do up in Greenville…one wishes them the best of luck up there.

Back to the debate on charter schools, with Rep. Casavant leading off talking about how charter schools could complement the conventional public school system. Good points on how charter schools are an option, and how they involve the parents. Also good on how this is a whole different world than it was last year when charter school legislation was last heard.

Rep. Lovejoy against – in favor of innovative schools, but against charters. They would cost too much, seems to be the bulk of his argument.

Sen. Alfond against – the system we have is fine, thanks, and even if it is not, it will be because the committee passed some kind “multiple pathways” bill, whatever that is.

Sen. Schneider against – thinks the innovative school language is fine. Charter schools will be a problem for local school districts. 

A problem for local school districts??

One of the things that the charter school movement is going to have to do is somehow create some space in people’s minds between what is in the best interest of kids and what is in the best interest of school districts. In the eyes of Sen. Schneider and others, those two things are the same thing.

Think of what she is saying. If a family decides that another school (a charter school, in this instance), is a better fit for their child and moves the child to the charter school, that should be forbidden – prohibited – because having the family do this is a problem for the school district. It is not a problem for the family and not a problem for the student, but a problem for the school district, therefore it must not be allowed. That is the interest that some – perhaps most – of the members of the committee hold paramount: what is in the best interest of the school district.

It is a testament to the forces of the status quo that they have convinced so many of these lawmakers that the lens through which they should view every school reform idea is whether or not it will benefit the school district.