Baker to help launch informational campaign on charter schools

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Days after his critics alleged that he’s overly focused on charter schools, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday plans to join others who favor more charters to launch a “fact check” campaign.

Charter proponents and opponents in Massachusetts have engaged in a bitter debate for years, looking at the same education landscape and drawing vastly different opinions and facts to make their cases for an against additional charters, which operate independently from local school committee oversight.

According to Great Schools Massachusetts, which is leading a ballot question push on the issue, Baker will help launch “Fact Check: Public Charter Schools in Massachusetts,” a public information campaign that the organization says will “deliver the wealth of data about Massachusetts’ public charter schools to policymakers as they craft legislation related to charter schools.”

Baker will be joined by representatives from the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, the Boston Charter Alliance, Race to the Top Coalition, and the Mass High Tech Council. They will discuss

“This effort is about setting the record straight about public charter schools in Massachusetts,” Beth Anderson, president of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, said in a statement. “Charter schools serve high-need kids incredibly well, close the achievement gap for low-income students of color, and have lower student attrition rates than district schools.”

The event is set for 2 p.m. in Nurses Hall, which is located just above the third floor Senate offices that are home to some of the Legislature’s chief critics of charter schools.

At a meeting on Tuesday, King Phillip Regional School Committee member Patrick Francomano told the governor: “The administration’s public focus is overwhelmingly on charter schools, and while our excellent vocational schools have also received your attention, the majority of public school students are not significantly helped by this budget.”

— Written by Michael Norton

Copyright State House News Service