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Pioneer Institute’s core mission is educating the public on policy issues. No issue is more important to the future of the Commonwealth – and our nation – than education. So, as you head to the polls, we’d like to make sure you are armed with facts – not noise. The ballot this year includes a question about whether charter public schools should be expanded in the lowest-performing districts.
  1. Charter public schools, like district schools and vocational-technical schools, are public schools.
  2. Gold-standard research demonstrates that Massachusetts charter public schools are the most powerful achievement gap-closing public schools in the nation. (More evidence here and here.)
  3. Districts do not lose funding as a result of creating more charter public schools. Currently, four percent of public school students attend charter public schools, and they receive four percent of the funding. Our research demonstrates that Massachusetts has the most generous reimbursement formula in the country.
  4. Attrition rates in charter public schools are below those in district schools.
  5. In 2011, charter public schools finally gained access to the same student lists that districts have had. Since then, charter public school enrollments for English Language Learners are equal to those in district schools.
  6. Statewide, special education enrollment at charter public schools is comparable to district schools. English language learners and students with special needs enrolled in charter public schools perform at higher achievement levels than their district counterparts.
  7. Finally and most importantly, the proposal to create up to 12 schools per year means it will take eight years to address the already existing charter public school waitlist of 32,000-plus children.

Voting is a civic duty. We thank you for taking your electoral decisions seriously.

Related Research

Study: Systemic Failure in IDEA Implementation for Private School Students with Disabilities in Additional States

On the heels of a $3.8 million settlement for private school students with disabilities in Massachusetts for the state’s failure to comply with provisions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that require provision of equitable, publicly funded special education services to students in private schools, a Pioneer Institute study finds that two states and three school districts around the country for which data are available also appear to be out of compliance.

Key Madison Park Program Lags Other State Voc-Techs, but Shows Signs of Improvement

The co-operative education program at Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, which places students in paid positions with local employers, lags far behind other Massachusetts vocational-technical schools in terms of both placements and number of employer contacts.  But with the school as a whole beginning to improve after years of turmoil, the co-op is also showing promising signs, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

New Book Offers Roadmap to Sustainability for Massachusetts Catholic Schools

Catholic schools in Massachusetts must focus on the characteristics that make them academically successful and distinguish them from traditional public schools, but must also seek new models and governance structures that will help them achieve financial sustainability, according to a new book published by Pioneer Institute. The book, "A Vision of Hope: Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts," will be the topic of a webinar co-sponsored by Pioneer and the Catholic Schools Foundation to be held on Wednesday, January 27 at 2:00 pm. 

New Study Provides Toolkit for Crafting Education Tax-Credit Scholarship Programs

In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key impediment to private school choice, Pioneer Institute has published a toolkit for designing tax-credit scholarship programs. Now available in 18 states, nearly 300,000 students nationwide use tax-credit scholarships to attend the school of their family’s choice. TCS policies create an incentive for taxpayers to contribute to nonprofit scholarship organizations that aid families with tuition and, in some states, other K–12 educational expenses. This paper explores the central design features of TCS policies—such as eligibility, the tax credit value, credit caps, and academic accountability provisions—and outlines the different approaches taken by the TCS policies in each state.

Study: Signs of Progress at Madison Park, but Still a Long Way to Go

Four years after it began to implement a turnaround plan, Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School is showing clear signs of progress, but its performance continues to lag behind that of other vocational-technical schools in Massachusetts, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Public Statement: Pioneer Institute Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Espinoza School Choice Case

Pioneer Institute applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a bigoted state constitutional amendment in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Like Massachusetts, Montana is among nearly 40 states with so-called anti-aid amendments, which have roots in 19th century anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant discrimination.

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