Charter funding theory doesn't match reality

To the editor:

There are good educational arguments for both sides of Question 2 on increasing the number of charter schools. However, one claim by the proponents of this issue is misleading.

They say that passage of the ballot question will increase the amount of state funding going to public education. It is true that the enabling legislation for charter schools calls for transitional reimbursement to the sending district for students going to charter schools. The problem is that, like every state program, this reimbursement is "subject to appropriation," No ballot question can in fact bind the legislature, as it considers the state budget, to prioritize a particular line item. In 2015 the state funded only the first year transition requests.

More charter schools means more requests for reimbursement. It does not automatically mean more money to meet those requests. In deciding how to vote on this question, consider educational issues, not the potential for additional state money to education. As a practical matter the latter does not exist.

Anne R. Skinner, Williamstown