Charter school proponents on Monday morning were promoting new poll results showing voters in the Boston area support lifting caps on the number of charter schools by a nearly three to one margin.
There are 22 charter schools in Boston that serve more than 7,700 students but thousands more are on wait lists and the city is "frozen" to new charters, according to the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, which circulated the results of a survey conducted by The MassINC Polling Group.
Good use for empty school buildings
Charter schools are ineligible for state funding for school construction and renovations and the poll also found support, by a 67-23 margin, for allowing charters to receive state funds for those purposes. The poll of 625 registered voters in Boston was conducted in April and commissioned by the association and New Schools Venture Fund.
By a 66-24 spread, respondents expressed support for requiring cities and towns to lease vacant public buildings to charter schools. The poll results were released in advance of Tuesday's Education Committee hearing on legislation to eliminate charter school caps in the state's lowest performing school district and make other changes aimed at reversing academic trends in failing schools.
Charter schools on Cape Cod
Cape Cod is home to two charter schools. Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Harwich, one of the state’s original charters, offers grades 6-8.
The Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis offers the International Baccalaureate to high school students on its two campuses and is consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the United States.
A group is currently working to form a K-5 charter elementary school in the mid-Cape area. The group is led by Ken Keenan, retired principal of the former Barnstable Horace Mann Charter School. Members of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe have also proposed forming a Wampanoag language immersion charter school.