And there's a plan B.
Way down at the end of that very long memo on charter schools, the Commissioner says this:
I am recommending two votes in this unique circumstance. In the first motion, the award of 450 seats is conditioned as described above. If the conditions are not met or necessary legislation has not been enacted, this increase in enrollment of 450 would become null and void. I recommend that we establish a second pathway forward for an enrollment increase if this happens. Therefore, I am asking the Board to also vote on an expansion plan that would take place only if the conditions for the collaboration between AdM and New Bedford Public Schools are not met.Because, it is claimed, the Department lacks space to share the full back-ups (fix this one, people; as a matter of public record, we shouldn't have to ask and wait for this sort of thing), the full backup language isn't posted, but the motion reads as follows (I'm including a screenshot, putting the language in, as well):
This piece from Chris McCarthy at WSBM effectively captures where this leaves New Bedford (and all of us):
The state has weaponized the expansion process.I'd go further and say that it is already there. In creating a process where Alma del Mar gets the seats either way, he now has tied New Bedford--and every city's--hands when it comes to charter expansion.
Mayor Mitchell and City Councilor Hugh Dunn have warned that adding the maximum number of charter seats to Alma del Mar would result in financial devastation to the City's finances. Tax increases and layoffs of police, fire, and teachers will be the result if the state grants the full expansion to the charter school. The vote on Tuesday will place the financial future of the City of New Bedford in the hands of Commissioner Riley.