Question 2 undermines valuable public schools

To the editor:

At a time when public school funding cannot keep up with the growing needs of our students and communities, it is completely counterproductive to raise the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts. Public school officials have to annually decide what programs need to be cut to keep within their budgets; programs that are critical to the education of our youth. Yet, each year, over $400 million of Chapter 70 monies in Massachusetts is lost in funding of our public schools to charter schools. What does this mean for all of our children?

Public schools offer a free and equal education to all students. It is the underlying element in having a strong and productive community. I grew up attending Pittsfield public schools, and now have a child following in that path. I also teach in this same district.

I believe strongly that every student receives the very best education that can be provided in our public schools. However, if class sizes did not have to increase, teachers and programs did not have to be cut, and even more diverse classes could be added, there is no doubt that every student would benefit greatly. A goal that every citizen wants to see realized.

Please take the time to understand this ballot question and how it takes control away from local communities in how their tax money is used, and on Nov. 8, vote No on 2.


Gigi Hawkins, Pittsfield