School Choice & Charters

Union, District Court Charters

By Jessica L. Tonn — April 18, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Boston Teachers’ Union and the city’s school district sent letters to teachers and administrators at local charter schools last week, inviting them to consider converting their schools to in-district “pilot schools.”

As pilots, the letter explains, the schools would be incorporated into the 58,000-student Boston public school system, but would still retain autonomy in budget, staffing, curriculum, governance, and schedules. Charter schools, which are authorized by the state, are independent of the district.

Teachers at any charter schools that switched to pilot status could become members of the BTU—and thus, eligible for union salary schedules and benefits. Attached to the letter are the pay scales for BTU members and a list of pilot-school-employee benefits compared with charter school benefits.

“A teacher with a master’s degree and 15 graduate credits, for example, who entered the [Boston public schools] with three years’ charter school experience would have been paid $56,183 this year, with a generous sets of benefits,” the letter says. Teacher salaries vary widely among the city’s charter schools.

Representatives from the BTU, the school district, and the Center for Collaborative Education, a Boston-based group that works for school improvement—the three co-signers—plan to attend a meeting April 24 for charter teachers and administrators to discuss the possibility of turning charter schools into pilots.

The union would benefit from the dues of teachers whose schools joined the district, and the district also has a financial incentive to encourage the conversions.

Jonathan E. Palumbo, a district spokesman, noted that each year, the district must make tuition payments to charter schools for the Boston students who attend them.

Though teachers and principals were the only charter school staff members to receive the letter, it acknowledged that the ultimate decision to convert to pilot status would be made by each charter school’s board of trustees.

Marc Kenen, the executive director of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, doubted that the letter would persuade any schools to convert.

“None of the schools will join [the district],” he predicted. “It’s just a publicity stunt by the union to create dissension in our schools … and to get our teachers agitated about the charter schools’ salaries versus the union salaries.”

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.
School & District Management Webinar Fostering Student Well-Being with Programs That Work
Protecting student well-being has never been more important. Join this webinar to learn how to ensure your programs yield the best outcomes.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Biden Administration Is Right: Charters Need to Be More Accountable
The proposed changes to the federal Charter School Program are just common sense, write Jitu Brown and Randi Weingarten.
Jitu Brown & Randi Weingarten
3 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
<b>F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty</b>
School Choice & Charters What's Behind the Fight Over the Biden Administration's Stance on Charter School Funding
Proposed new rules for federal charter school funding have drawn the ire of many in the charter school community.
8 min read
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest as thousands of public school teachers, administrators and supports march through the streets of Sacramento during a protest held at the California State Capitol urging state legislators to provide more funding for public schools in Sacramento, Calif., on May 22, 2019.
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest during a march in Sacramento, Calif., that advocated for more funding for public schools in 2019.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion Families May Like Their School But Want More Options. That’s Where Course Choice Comes In
Educational choices have grown inside each school as a result of the pandemic. Families should take advantage of this.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson,
4 min read
Student with backpack.