Rosenberg sees charter debate at ‘dead stop’

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Senate President Stanley Rosenberg conceded Monday something that many on Beacon Hill have assumed for weeks: the Senate’s charter schools bill is as dead as a snowman on the summer solstice.

“Slowdown in the Legislature? Does a dead stop equal slowdown?” Rosenberg said with a laugh when a reporter suggested the bill had run into a slowdown. “I expect this issue is going to get resolved by the people on the ballot.”

With the possibility of a November ballot question to allow up to 12 additional charter school each year, the Senate in April passed a bill that tied a gradual increase in the cap on charter school enrollment with new investments of more than $200 million a year in public education.

The co-chairs of the Education Committee agreed it was unlikely the two branches would be able to agree on a charter school expansion bill that would prompt proponents to drop the ballot question, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo has said he thought the issue would go to the ballot no matter what.

On Monday, Rosenberg signed the bill’s death certificate.

But the time spent crafting and debating the bill, he said, was not wasted. “I believe that the bill that the Senate did is a vision for the next round of discussion about the future of public education funding here in the commonwealth,” Rosenberg said. “Whatever happens on the ballot in November, there is a piece of legislation on the table on the Senate side that we could use to start the conversation about the future of public education going forward.”

— Written by Colin A. Young

Copyright State House News Service