The Buffalo News

Charter schools offer choice for many low-income families

- Duncan Kirkwood

The Buffalo Board of Education passed a resolution calling for a charter school moratorium, and Board President Barbara Nevergold wrote an Oct. 22 Another Voice stating why. Nevergold says we’ve reached “a saturation point that has the potential to create an inequitabl­e situation for public school students.”

First, let me state for the 5,000th time: charter schools public schools, a point enshrined in law.

Next, there is no saturation point when more than 3,000 Buffalo children are on a waiting list to get into a charter. Finally, for every $1 a district student gets, a charter school student gets 60 cents. Where does that other 40 cents go? It stays with the district. No, unfortunat­ely the money doesn’t follow the child. So, I agree there is an inequality, just not the one some are claiming.

I challenge Nevergold to visit a Buffalo charter school or two. I’ll take her on the tours personally. Maybe then she will stop regurgitat­ing teacher union talking points about charters pushing kids out, and how the schools are these nefarious places. Maybe then she will see with her own eyes that even poor kids can learn and succeed.

The Board of Education should be saying, “Let’s make our schools so great that families don’t want to leave.” Find out what is working and replicate it in the district schools.

The board wants a moratorium on choices for low-income families. It is the old racist plantation mentality – try to control the poor brown people and dictate how they live, and their potential, while other people reap the benefits.

Parents deserve options, even if they don’t have money. Stop trying to take away a parent’s right to choose.

Western New York Advocacy Manager Northeast Charter Schools Network Buffalo

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