Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

November 28, 2013

Charter school proposal doesn't add up

(Continued)

Further, it strikes me that Andover gets about $8.4 million this year in state (Chapter 70) funds, yet we are in a situation where the state, through DESE, has an opportunity to dictate that $5 million of these funds would be directed to a school that is proposed to support only 315 of Andover’s 6,100 public school students. That’s 60 percent of our state funding for 5 percent of our kids.

I’m an engineer by education and career, taught in Massachusetts public schools and the Ivy League. I have a strong and personal perspective that studying advanced math and science are hugely important for our kids. Nonetheless, I do not support the proposed STEAM charter high school because it is an inefficient way to enhance technology curriculum in Andover, and it does so for only a small subset of students.

As you are forming your opinion on the charter school proposal, I urge you to consider how this — widely acknowledged and agreed upon — $5 million annual allocation to STEAM Studio would impact the ability to deliver science and math education to the 95 percent of Andover pubic school students who are not part of the charter school. I’m having trouble seeing how that “works itself out” in any productive way.

Shannon Scully

School Street

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