New Bedford charter expansion plan is a bad deal
The proposed Alma del Mar charter school expansion is a bad deal for New Bedford and establishes a precedent that could be used to the detriment of public school districts across the state. State legislators should not approve HD. 4174, An Act Relative to the Operation of Charter Schools in the City of New Bedford, which is necessary to allow the expansion to go forward. If the bill is passed, New Bedford will bypass state law and give away valuable public property at no cost to the private corporation that operates Alma del Mar. The measure will alter state education policy and create a new zone from which students will be automatically assigned to the charter school unless they opt out. The New Bedford Public Schools will lose millions of dollars to pay for the additional charter school seats, even if they are unfilled. Under this scheme, the state will unjustly allow an even larger and more costly expansion if Alma del Mar does not get what it wants.