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Representative misrepresenting

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cluelessChalk this one up to elected officials representing people other than their constituents, Rep. Aaron Vega of Holyoke tells MassLive.com all the reasons why he opposed the charter school cap lift in the House a few weeks back.

Vega was asked if he would have supported the House bill if his two favored amendments had been adopted. “I would be more inclined to,” said Vega. “But there are other issues around compensation for the teachers; they’re not unionized.”

So, in Holyoke, where 734 schoolchildren are served in two schools, and where there are 324 schoolchildren on waitlists, he opposes the charter bill because, well, they need to be unionized.  Why is that? Yes, you know. In a wonderful demonstration of someone who has a microphone but does not know what he is talking about, Vega asserts that admission to the charter schools should be by lottery, not by application.

There are two problems with this.  First, both charter schools and district schools have children fill out paperwork.  In the charters they accept all children up to the number of seats they have available; if there are more applicants than the school’s capacity, it selects students by lottery.  Interesting that Rep. Vega is so uninformed about schools that serve almost 15% of the students in his district. There’s more.  When asked what he would say to a low-income, academically talented student who wanted to leave a troubled district school for a better charter school, Vega said students still have options. “We do have school choice,” said Vega. “School choice is separate from charter schools. If you have a child who is showing excellence in science or math, they’re going to do well in public school. But they have choice; they can definitely ‘choice out.'”

So, choices means having a choice of classes? File under clueless.

Follow me on twitter at @jimstergios, visit Pioneer’s website, or check out our education posts at the Rock The Schoolhouse blog.

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