At Tuesday night’s Worcester City Council meeting the Council voted 10 to 1 in favor of not raising the cap on charter schools.
In a resolution, cosponsored by Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, the city council was asked, “to go on record requesting the Great and General Court not to lift the cap on Charter Schools.”
“This is an issue of fairness for our students and teachers, our families and our schools,” said Mayor Petty. “The state already owes the Worcester Public Schools over $900,000 in charter school reimbursement for last year alone. Just for last year. That money represents twelve teachers who aren’t in the classroom right now. Why would we want more charter schools if the state can’t meet its current obligations?”
Councilor Carlson echoed this sentiment saying, “Seven percent of our school budget is 24 million dollars. That’s money that is essentially going out of district and the city budget has to compensate for that lost money. It’s about investing in our public schools that provide a great education for all Worcester residents.”
Two weeks previously the Worcester School Committee voted unanimously in favor of a similar item. Worcester Public Schools have the highest graduation rates of any urban school district, fifteen points higher than Boston and twenty points higher than Springfield.