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Good News? Baltimore School Board to Consider More Charter Apps, Cuts Charter Funding…

(Newswire, June 5, 2018)  Later this month the Baltimore School Board will consider applications for six new charter schools. This would normally be reason to cheer, except for the fact that the same school board has cut its budget for the city’s existing 34 charter schools (which serve about 20 percent of Charm City’s 80,600 public school students). And, adding insult to injury, there’s a new funding formula that has charter schools paying the district millions of dollars for services previously covered by the school system.  In a laudable demonstration of calm reserve Nicole Harris-Crest, ED of the Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools, said the cuts and new rules made for a pretty tough environment for starting a charter school.  “But,” she added, “it adds additional people to the movement to fight for equitable funding.” It’s time the state legislature or the courts step in to make to make that happen. (The district is still fighting a 2015 lawsuit filed by a group of charter school operators who allege the district has failed to meet contractual obligations to charters and has not been transparent or consistent in the way it allocates funding to those schools.)

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