Ouch: New Hampshire Charter School Cap Proposed

I just received this from the Academy of Science and Design, where I teach robotics, and where Isaac attends:

As almost all of you probably know, New Hampshire is facing major budget issues. The New Hampshire State Senate is currently trying to grapple with the deteriorating situation as state incoming revenue declines. This week, an amendment was proposed and approved in the Senate Finance Committee that would cap total charter school enrollment in the state for the coming 2009-2010 year at a level of 850, which is below current enrollment levels.

If this limitation stands as the bill moves through a full NH State Senate floor vote (likely this coming Wednesday June 3) and the following conference committee, this would be a MAJOR issue for the school. Depending on the exact level allocated to the school, this could mean ALL accepted incoming students would have to have their acceptance reversed, and it could even mean that there would have to be a “reverse lottery” to eliminate existing ASD students.

We strongly encourage you to take action on this issue, as it will affect your child’s educational choices and ASD’s quality.

One action you can take is to send mail to your elected representatives. The following link can be used to do this:
http://tinyurl.com/lmku2l

Some parents may also want to call their representatives. While this can potentially be helpful, it is also very important that you express support constructively, perhaps with personal stories, but DO NOT ARGUE with them! Remember that the legislators are dealing with a very major set of issues around funding, and are facing many difficult decisions at this time. Being hostile and/or combative can easily create irate representatives, which would hurt much more than help and can be very hard to reverse. Please only call if you are sure you can keep the conversation positive.

The ASD and other charter schools have been through this before, but it has always required work to get the legislature to see our side. Right now, we are all working through the NH Chartered Public School Association at all levels of government to make sure that this amendment does not get passed into law. While we are working hard with all the charter schools, we will not know the final outcome until the end of June. We will do our best to keep you informed as we move forward.

Kent Glossop
Board Chairman, Academy for Science and Design

Chris Franklin
Director, Academy for Science and Design

Here’s what I added to the petition I submitted:

Please help public education continue to improve in New Hampshire by rejecting the proposed cap on charter school enrollment.

Our son is attending the Academy for Science and Design Public Charter School in Merrimack. We have seen firsthand just how much he has learned at such a place, which is far more challenging than the private school he attended previously.