Search Results for: charter school

Charter School Position

The convention approved this position, to be added to our current education position.

It was decided that the consensus on the question on the foundation budget applied to both district schools and charter schools, and the position developed from that question belongs as an addition to the Statewide Standards section at the beginning of our education position.  Therefore, the following addition, shown bold and underlined, is added at that point:

Education

Goal:  Equal access to education. (LWVUS) (1967)

Statewide Standards (1967)

The League supports:

  • the principle that the state Board of Education should set minimum educational standards for local public school systems with reasonable criteria for implementation
  • the principle that the state Board of Education should provide services to assist local schools and to motivate them to improve the quality of education
  • reasonable measures to implement these services
  • adequate teacher certification
  • adjustment of the state’s education funding formula (the foundation budget formula) to meet changing needs and to cover costs, including those associated with mandated programs (2017)

Below is the approved LWVMA charter school position:

Charter Schools (2017)

The League supports:

  • The exclusive authority of the state to establish and oversee charter schools, and to adopt and enforce regulations relating to them
  • State approval and regulation of the number and location of charter schools
  • The establishment of charter schools only on a not-for-profit basis
  • Funding both district schools and charter schools in ways that do not disadvantage either type of school. The state should have a formula to adequately fund both district schools and charter schools, and should develop methods for addressing the financial impact of charter schools on sending school districts.
  • State responsibility for fostering robust cooperation and collaboration between charter schools and district schools. This includes, among other things, fostering the sharing of innovation and ideas between charter and district schools and minimizing the competition between them for scarce resources.
  • State responsibility for the accuracy, transparency and ease of accessibility of charter school reports, to ensure accountability
  • Equal access to charter schools for all students. This includes making every effort to have charter school applicant pools be comparable to the populations of their sending districts.
  • Community and parent/guardian engagement in governance of charter schools. A charter school board of trustees should include, among others, community representatives, and charter school boards should seek to actively engage parents/guardians of currently enrolled students.

The League opposes:

  • For-profit charter schools

Charter School Study Materials, 2016-17

During 2016-17, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) conducted a study of charter schools.  At the April 2017 LWVMA Convention, our membership approved a position on charter schools.

The materials used in the LWVMA charter school study follow. They include information on how charter schools work and how they are funded, as well as the consensus questions that were considered by local Leagues.

Please note that this study and these materials were not related to the November 8, 2016 ballot question on charter schools in any way. The League did not take a stand on that ballot question precisely because we did not have a position on charter schools.

Consensus Study Materials

Introduction (2 pages)
Fundamentals (22 pages)
Funding (10 pages)
Questions (11 pages)
Response form (8 pages)
Glossary (2 pages)
Additional Reading (1 page)

Charter School Study Tools

Introduction to the LWVMA Study on Charter Schools

LWV Needham Background on Charter Schools Consolidated

northampton

22 Attendees at the LWV Northampton Charter School Consensus Study Meeting!

 

 

Recent Studies and Updates to Positions

LWVMA Studies

Ballot Question Study (in process, 2017-19)

Charter School Study (2015-2017)

LWVUS Studies

LWVUS Constitutional Amendment Study (2015-16)

Money and Politics Review and Update (2015-16)

2017 Convention Roundup

Delegates and observers from local Leagues across Massachusetts shared the experience of Convention 2017, “The Future of Democracy: Facing the Challenges,” with thoughtful discussion of the future of the League and how to best serve all of our new members and the greater community, a look into the thinking of the youngest members of the legislature, speakers on the role of newspapers and the state of democracy, and a glimpse into the changes coming to the League from the national level on down.

We are pleased that Mary Ann Ashton of the Acton Area League and Linda O’Connell of the Springfield unit of the Northampton League will be LWVMA co-presidents for 2017-2019.

The convention also conducted the League’s business, electing officers and a new board, approving a two-year state study on the ballot question process, defining our action priorities and action items for the next two years, and approving a new position on charter schools.

To read more on each of these topics, please click on the links below:

New officers and board

New state study

2017-2019 Action Priorities and Action Items

Charter school position

Focus groups on the changing League

Convention speaker reports

Volunteer sheet

 

2016 League Leaders’ Lunch — A Big Success!

September 19, 2016 — Fifty-five local League leaders descended on Hingham last Saturday for four hours for our annual League Leaders fall get-together. The event included informative presentations on the ballot questions and the charter school consensus process; stimulating discussions; a delicious lunch, topped off with homemade dessert treats from our co-host Hingham League; and an idea-sharing session on local pre-election activities.

We welcomed a large number of newly-elected local League leaders who got a first-hand look at the range of resources available to local Leagues from LWVMA.

LWVMA Positions on Ballot Questions

There will be four questions on the statewide ballot Nov. 8. LWVMA is taking a stand on only one of them, opposing the additional slot parlor.  The League does not have positions on the issues in the other three ballot questions, on charter school expansion, farm animal containment practices and legalization of marijuana.

Our decisions on these questions are based on policy positions taken after study of issues at the state and national levels and consensus by League members.

Here are the questions, in the order they will appear on the ballot, and the League’s stand on each.

 Question 1: Expanded Gaming Initiative: 

This proposed law would allow the state Gaming Commission to issue one additional category 2 license, which would permit operation of a gaming establishment with no table games and not more than 1,250 slot machines.  The League has a position in opposition to legalized casino gambling and urges a NO vote on this question.

 Question 2: Increase Access to Public Charter Schools

This proposed law would allow the state to approve up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools each year.  Approvals under this law could expand statewide charter school enrollment by up to 1% of the total statewide public school enrollment each year.  New charters and enrollment expansions would be exempt from existing limits on the number of charter schools, the number of students enrolled in them, and the amount of local school districts’ spending allocated to them. The League does not have a position on charter schools and therefore does not take a stand on this question.

 Question 3: Farm Animal Containment

This proposed law would prohibit any farm from confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely.  The proposed law would prohibit the sale in Massachusetts of whole eggs or uncooked veal or pork if the hen, pig, or calf was confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law.  The LWVUS agriculture position does not apply to this question. LWVMA does not take a stand on this question.

 Question 4: Marijuana Legalization

 The proposed law would permit the possession, use, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in limited amounts by persons age 21 and older and would remove criminal penalties for such activities.  It would provide for the regulation of commerce in marijuana, marijuana accessories, and marijuana products and for the taxation of proceeds from sales of these items. The League does not have a position on legalization of marijuana and therefore does not take a stand on this question.

 8/4/2016

LWVMA Council on April 30 at Clark University

The 2016 LWVMA Council “Massachusetts Voter Engagement (MOVE) 2016: Join the Movement!” was held Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Clark University in Worcester. Council this year focused on voter engagement during the 2016 election cycle and featured:

      • A kick off of LWVMA’s voter engagement campaign, MOVE 2016 (Massachusetts Voter Engagement 2016;
      •  A panel discussion, “The Massachusetts Electorate: Who’s Not Participating and What Will It Take to Reach Them?” with:
        • Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director, CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), Tufts University, a research center that focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life.
        • Eva Millona, Executive Director, MIRA (Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition),  the state’s largest organization representing the foreign born, and co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, the lead national organization focusing on immigrant integration.
        • Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder and CEO, Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan non profit using data analytics and behavioral science to identify and mobilize non-voting environmentalists.
      • Two workshops:  From Climate Talk to Climate Action and Charter Schools in Massachusetts

MOVE 2016 Information

MOVE 2016 slides
MOVE 2016 summary
Massachusetts Election Reforms and Call to Action

Workshop Presentations and Handouts (coming soon)

Charter Schools in Massachusetts: presentation by the Charter School Study Committee
From Climate Talk to Climate Action

Local Leagues Donate to LWVMA

LWVMA is grateful to the local Leagues who made donations to the LWVMA at Council 2016: Amherst, Cape Cod Area, Concord-Carlisle, Hamilton-Wenham, Needham, Newton, Northampton Area, Plymouth Area, Shrewsbury, Topsfield-Boxford-Middleton, Wellesley, and Winchester.

LWVMA in the News 2015

LWVMA and local Leagues highlighted in the news around the state this year

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

 

Report from LWVMA’s May Convention

Members of Leagues around the state, gathered in West Springfield for the 2015 LWVMA Convention, elected Anne Borg of the Newton League and Jean Cherdack of the Northampton Area League as co-presidents of the state League for the next two years. Anne has been co-president and Jean has been a director for the past two years.

The Convention also approved a two-year state study of charter schools with the aim of developing a position on this subject to be presented to the 2017 Convention. As action items for the coming two years, the Convention approved a strong voter registration, information and education program centered on the 2016 election; development of an action plan on civic education and engagement; and extension of a committee to review and report on election-related technology.

Other officers elected are Marlene O’Brien of Wellesley, first vice president; Dee Ortner of Concord-Carlisle, second vice president; Shelley Drowns of Waltham, secretary; and Andrea Kozinetz of Newton, treasurer.  Karen Price of Needham, elected as third vice president, later decided not to serve on the board.

Elected as LWVMA directors were Mary Ann Ashton of Acton Area, Roslyn Broch of Williamstown, Nancy Brumback of Sudbury, Melisa Hollenback of Shrewsbury, Carole Pelchat of Greater Haverill, Terry Yoffie of Newton, and Launa Zimmaro of Concord-Carlisle.  In June, the board appointed Marilyn Peterson of Acton Area as an additional director.

Lee Bona of the Worcester Area League was elected chair of the nominating committee, and the off-board members of that committee are Sandra Daly of Grafton and Lynn Wolbarst of Sharon-Stoughton.

Jo-Ann Berry of Acton Area received the Above and Beyond Award for her voter service and moderator work, and Karen Price of Needham received the 110% Award for her work on the board in membership and many other areas.

LWVMA action priorities for the biennium will be improving elections and voter turnout; civic education and engagement; money and politics; climate change and the environment; and addressing income inequality.

LWVMA received generous donations totaling $4,150 from 14 local Leagues at the Convention:  Acton Area, Amherst, Cape Cod Area, Concord-Carlisle, Hamilton-Wenham, Harvard, Lexington, Needham, Newton, Northampton Area, Plymouth Area, Sudbury, Topsfield-Boxford-Middleton, and Wellesley.

The Convention welcomed members of the newly-formed Springfield unit of the Northampton Area League, who are working actively in voter activities in Springfield and who hope to eventually form an independent League in that city.

Rosalee Keech, an LWVUS director and the LWVUS Observer to the United Nations, detailed her experiences in both those areas as the Friday evening speaker. Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, was Saturday’s speaker. Ms. Barajas-Román works to fund programs improving the lives of girls and women in that region, and she discussed that work and how the League might help.

Additional information on the Convention, including photographs and materials from many of the workshops, is available on our website.

LWVMA Elects Borg and Cherdack As Co-Presidents for 2015-2017

Members of Leagues around the state, gathered in West Springfield for the 2015 LWVMA Convention, elected Anne Borg of the Newton League and Jean Cherdack of the Northampton Area League as co-presidents of the state League for the next two years.  Anne has been co-president and Jean has been a director for the past two years.

The Convention also approved a two-year state study of charter schools with the aim of developing a position on this subject to be presented to the 2017 Convention for approval.  The LWVMA board will appoint a committee to determine the scope of the study and to develop information and consensus questions.  Any League member interested in serving on that committee can contact Anne Borg.

The other officers elected at the May 15-16 convention are Marlene O’Brien of Wellesley, first vice president; Dee Ortner of Concord-Carlisle, second vice president; Karen Price of Needham, third vice president; Shelley Drowns of Waltham, secretary; and Andrea Kozinetz of Newton, treasurer.

Elected as LWVMA directors are Mary Ann Ashton of Acton Area, Roslyn Broch of Williamstown, Nancy Brumback of Sudbury, Melisa Hollenback of Shrewsbury, Carole Pelchat of Greater Haverill, Terry Yoffie of Newton, and Launa Zimmaro of Concord-Carlisle.

Lee Bona of the Worcester Area League was elected chair of the nominating committee, and the off-board members of that committee are Sandra Daly of Grafton and Lynn Wolbarst of Sharon-Stoughton.

Jo-Ann Berry of Acton Area received the Above and Beyond Award for her voter service and moderator work, and Karen Price of Needham received the 110% Award for her work on the board in membership and other areas.

The Convention also gave thanks and a standing ovation to the two women leaving the board, co-president Marilyn Peterson of Acton Area and director Becky Shannon of Northampton.

As action items for the coming two years, the Convention approved a strong voter registration, information and education program centered on the 2016 election; development of an action plan on civic education and engagement; and extension of a committee to review and report on election-related technology.

LWVMA action priorities for the biennium will be improving elections and voter turnout; civic education and engagement; money and politics; climate change and the environment; and addressing income inequality.

The Convention welcomed members of the newly-formed Springfield unit of the Northampton Area League, who are working actively in voter activities in Springfield and who hope to eventually form an independent League in that city.

Rosalee Keech, an LWVUS director and the LWVUS Observer to the United Nations, detailed her experiences in both those areas as the Friday evening speaker.  Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, was Saturday’s speaker.  Ms. Barajas-Román works to fund programs improving the lives of girls and women in that region, and she discussed that work and how the League might help.