Christopher Lyerly: Charters just public private schools

November 21, 2013 

Regarding the Nov. 20 letter “More charters”: I am shocked at the shell game that Rep. Paul Stam has attempted to play with the public. “Charter schools are public schools” is a euphemism. Charter schools are really publicly funded private schools that are not required to offer transportation or free lunches to their students. Furthermore, most charter schools lack the resources to appropriately deal with students who are economically disadvantaged, at risk of failure or learning disabled.

To see the truth, just look at Raleigh’s best charter school. Raleigh Charter School advises that students must be capable of taking Algebra I (or Common Core I) to gain admittance. A real public school would not have the option of refusing children who are not ready to take Algebra I in the ninth grade.

Stam also left out what his fellow lawmaker, Jerry Tillman, has said. When asked about how charter schools would support students who need transportation and free lunch, Tillman responded, “They can go to their public schools.” In other words, charter schools are really a free voucher program for the wealthy and middle class, and poor people need not apply.

Christopher Lyerly, Raleigh

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