AP NEWS

Letter: What’s not to like about charter schools?

March 14, 2019

To the editor,

Charter schools cost less and do a better job educating minorities. What’s not to like? Well, charter school opponents (read: teacher’s unions) always find a way.

The latest salvo is that charter schools are “tainted” because they have benefited from the generosity of Purdue Pharma’s owners (March 10 news story, “Sackler family opioid fortune backed CT charter schools”). Somehow, the troubles faced by Purdue Pharma affect the performance of charter schools. Talk about a non sequitur. Other arguments used by the unions are that charters cherry-pick students and drain funds from other public schools. But enrollment in charter schools is done by lottery; how is that cherry-picking? And yes, they take funds from traditional schools, but they also take students. And since charter schools cost less, the other public schools end up with more per pupil, not less.

While charter schools usually outperform other public schools, those that fail to do so can be shut down. Try doing that with a neighborhood school. Furthermore, charter schools tend to make the traditional schools better. That’s what competition is all about.

Peter Crumbine is a former Greenwich selectman.