To the Editor:
In Lauren Peace’s op-ed, "How West Virginia's Education Bill Will Punish Children ," the reporter’s assertion that the opening of public charter schools in West Virginia will have “the greatest negative effect falling on already vulnerable and disadvantaged students” willfully disregards the positive impact that charter schools have had on students across the country.
According to a 2019 Stanford CREDO Idaho report, students in rural charter schools outperform their traditional public-school peers by an additional 30 days of learning in reading and 59 days of learning in math.
Furthermore, the bill does not allow charter schools to be “authorized by for-profit and political organizations.” Instead, local school boards, already tasked with overseeing district schools, would serve as authorizers, as would higher education institutions and a state charter school commission. The bill would especially cater to underserved students by prioritizing school applications and enrollment preferences that serve the poorest students.
West Virginia lawmakers are finally able to give families a critically-needed choice in their child’s public education. We urge them to put students first and seize it!
President and CEO
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The above letter was submitted to The New York Times on February 11, 2019.