Response to San Jose Inside Guest Column, "Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Charter School Debate Continues"

April 1, 2015

  • Print
CCSA submitted the following comment in response to the San Jose Inside Guest Column, "Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Charter School Debate Continues"

Education is intended to broaden our students' worldview, prepare them for college and/or career success and expand opportunities to achieve their personal goals and dreams. Charter public schools in Santa Clara County accomplish all of these objectives, as free public schools of choice serving all students. The 61 charter public schools educating more than 29,000 students in the County have one agenda - to offer innovative educational options for students and their families.

The success of students attending charter public schools is undeniable. Last month, Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the nation's foremost independent analyst of charter public school effectiveness, released a comprehensive Urban Charter Schools Report and offers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of charter public schools.

The more than 4,830 kids on waiting lists in Santa Clara County alone, with an estimated 91,000 on waiting lists for charter schools across the state, is a powerful testament to the demand for the options, flexibility and innovation that charters offers to students, and in particular to students who need it the most.

Charters are not corporations they are public schools. Public school students whose families chose charter schools are entitled to the same public dollars as students who attend traditional public schools. In California, the overwhelming majority of charter schools are organized as non-profit organizations and are held to state and federal laws governing nonprofits.

Charter students not only deserve great school facilities but the law says they should have access to them. Prop. 39, a law passed by California's voters in 2000, is intended to ensure "that public school facilities be shared fairly among all public school pupils, including those in charter schools."

It is time to stop misleading the public. Charter schools are public schools. They serve all kids. They employ talented and dedicated teachers and staff. Independent research indicates they serve students, particularly those traditionally underserved, extremely well. As public school students, children attending charters should be able to access similar funding and facilities as their traditional public school peers. And clearly the wait lists in Santa Clara County and across the state demonstrate parents want more of them for their children.

Danyela Egorov, Regional Director, Santa Clara County, California Charter Schools Association