18 months ago, Maine Republicans pushed through legislation allowing up to ten charter schools in the state. Now LePage wants more of them.
” . . . Once you welcome in the Trojan horse of school choice, the idea that each child is entitled to a quality education by certified teachers at an accredited public school becomes harder to justify.”
Undoubtedly, LePage’s unrelenting disparagement of Maine public schools has been for the purpose of laying the groundwork for this initiative. No matter that Maine public schools have a pretty strong record when compared to those in other states. No matter that reports on the effectiveness charter schools are mixed at best. No matter that there is no money (NO MONEY) for creating new schools while continuing to support the existing ones. This at a time in which the state is mired in a budget fiasco that gets worse by the week.
Which brings us to Exhibit A, New Hampshire — a state whose charter school and virtual charter school programs have been around for a while. As the New Hampshire case shows, once you welcome in the Trojan horse of school choice, the idea that each child is entitled to a quality education by certified teachers in an accredited public school becomes harder to justify. Somebody else can do it more cheaply — and that is where the students and the money will ultimately go.
In Manchester, New Hampshire, as a recent New York Times article shows, parents are up in arms because students are losing their access to courses taught by real teachers and instead are finding themselves taking online courses offered by the state-approved virtual charter school.
New Hampshire has found the sledding to be slick. If Paul LePage gets what he wants, YouTube U. as a replacement for public education as we know it will be just a slippery slope away.