I received a copy of the PTA's "toolkit" with information and paper handouts on issues. One of them was for charters.
Upfront I'll say this is for local units to print out and give out to their members. Apparently, it's still up for discussion and I hope each and every one of you that belongs to a PTA gets it on the agenda at your school. This issue needs the fullest airing possible.
What is quite strange about the position paper is that it doesn't answer one simple question: why charters? It has no information about how they have performed or why they would work better. You'd think if you were advocating something, you'd say why it's needed.
Instead it's a lot of talk about how families of at-risk kids don't have choices and alternatives. Throwing more choices at people is not going to solve the opportunity gap.
They also vaguely say, "Charters would not require new funding, but they would divert funding to new programs." Oh, you mean, existing schools lose money and those that serve high-needs kids will get even worse.
They also say "Districts are under no obligation to create, expand or support innovative programs." That's true but it's not the same as saying they can't do it. It's not the same as saying that a united front of legislators, parents, teachers and principals couldn't do it. It just hasn't happened.
This proposal comes from several PTA members, none from Seattle.