Letters to the Editor

Supports charter schools I-1240

During this time of such harsh political division and cultural disagreement, it is a pleasant surprise to see so many Democrats and Republicans agreeing on one important issue: our children’s need for a good public education.

Forty-one states have already adopted charter schools as just another way of expanding its inventory of resources to promote education. Vote for Initiative 1240 this November; a couple of reasons why from the initiative itself.

— Give priority to charter organizers who want to serve disadvantaged children and students trapped in poorly performing traditional schools.
— Require that charter schools comply with all state and federal nondiscrimination laws.
— Allow them to specialize in teaching students at risk of academic failure, including children with disabilities or severe behavioral problems.
— Forbid any religious influence in admissions, hiring or instruction.
— Forbid for-profit companies from running them.
— Require that their teachers meet the same certification standards as their counterparts in traditional schools.
—Require them to submit to annual performance reviews.
—Hold them to the same academic standards and student performance assessments as other public schools.
—Require that they be approved either by the local school district or by a new state charter school commission. The second option is essential; a district with failing schools may be especially resistant to escape routes.

Mick Sheldon


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