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The trouble with charter schools

New York Teacher

I attended my first UFT Lobby Day on March 13, and it was quite the experience. Our District 75 group, alongside members from District 79, met with a politician’s aide. We let him know our thoughts regarding charter schools, among other topics. I genuinely believe he took our concerns to heart.

For 35 years, I have worked as a phys ed teacher for kids with challenges (the best job in the DOE). We accept every kid put in front of us and do the best we can. In this day and age of inclusion, who was the genius who thought charter schools were a good idea?

I want to make it abundantly clear we have nothing against charter school students. I happen to work with some at an afterschool program. These children have the same issues and concerns as their public school counterparts. Who decided to politicize these kids? Who decided to pit kids against kids and parents against parents by putting them in the same schools? They have created a separatist state in our own schools where the charter school kids wear uniforms, their side of the building is spotless and they get everything they need in terms of resources while the other side gets more and more stuff taken away.

Does anyone think kids don’t notice the inequities? Not to mention, year by year, month by month and day by day, those of us in public schools, especially in District 75, are getting squeezed out of our own buildings. No taxpayer money should go to charter schools. If there are going to be charter schools, put them in their own buildings, like private schools, with no audience.

Jon Belkin, PS 771 @ PS 225, Brooklyn

Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charters are trying to take space that children with severe special needs need for occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. Children with special needs deserve an appropriate education as well. Thank goodness the UFT, especially District 75 Representative David Doorga, fights for these children.

L.A. Willsea, PS 168 @ Hillman Children’s Center
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