Charter school supporters in Massachusetts last week filed proposed ballot initiatives to end restrictions on the number of such schools allowed in the state, saying more students should be able to attend them. The questions would appear on the 2010 ballot if they are given the green light by the state attorney general and survive other procedural hurdles.
Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, recently unveiled a proposal to increase the number of charter seats in the lowest-scoring districts from 10,000 to more than 37,000. The Obama administration has made a strong push for states with caps on charter schools to lift them, with mixed success. (“State Picture on Charter Caps Still Mixed,” this issue.)
The Massachusetts Teachers Association, that states largest teachers union, opposes expansion of the publicly funded but largely independent schools, which can operate without union contracts.
A version of this article appeared in the August 12, 2009 edition of Education Week