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Tue Sep 27, 2016, 02:04 PM

Elizabeth Warren comes out against raising cap on charter schools in Massachusetts

Source: Washington Post

Elizabeth Warren comes out against raising cap on charter schools in Massachusetts

By Valerie Strauss September 27 at 1:35 PM

There is a pitched battle under way in Massachusetts over charter schools, with proponents pouring money into an initiative on the November ballot that would raise the state cap on their growth and opponents arguing that charters are draining resources from traditional public schools. Now critics have gotten a big boost: Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she was going to vote against Question 2.

Warren, who has been viewed somewhat warily by many public education activists because of her past support for charter schools, now says she does not support unfettered charter growth in Massachusetts because local school districts can be harmed. Just a few weeks ago, local media noted that Warren, highly popular in Massachusetts, had not declared her position on the charter cap.

There are now nearly 80 charter schools in Massachusetts, where no more than 120 charter schools are currently allowed to operate. Question 2 would allow 12 new or expanded charter schools to open every year anywhere in the state, a move that supporters say will give more parents choices about where to send their children to school and help close the achievement gap. Critics say that charters typically underserve the highest-needs students, are not accountable to the local communities in which they are located and end up hurting students in traditional schools.

Dozens of local school districts have taken positions against raising the cap even as supporters have flooded the state with millions of dollars from inside and outside the state to run pro-charter ads that are being produced by a firm that made the now-infamous “Swift Boat” ads in 2004 against then Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/09/27/elizabeth-warren-comes-out-against-raising-cap-on-charter-schools-in-massachusetts/

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