City parent: 'Why I don't want a charter in my backyard'
The Hampden resident wrote a lengthy and pretty scathing piece called "Why I don't want a charter school in my backyard, (Not Just Yet. Not so fast)" which explains why she opposed Roots and Branches School, a new city charter due to open next year, moving just a few blocks away Hampden Elementary/Middle School. Even though the parent doesn't even have a student in school yet, she took the issue all the way up to the city council.
For many charters, the approval to operate in the district can be dream, but finding a space to do so can be a nightmare. In its quest for space, Roots and Branches was considering moving into a building in the neighborhood. Jen Shaud, whom I first interviewed when she was looking to open the school, called the parent's piece "unfortunate, because we just wanted to be a part of a nice community."
Ultimately, the Hampden building didn't work out and the city school board is scheduled to approve a new facility tonight for the school.
The parent echoes a growing sentiment in the district (whether we'd like to admit it or not) when it comes to charters: she questions the motives of the movement and its representation of "choice," and expresses some mild disdain for the dynamic they bring to the district.
I'm not sharing this blog to start a back and forth or pit any school against another. However, city schools CEO Andres Alonso has repeatedly said that charters were brought into the district to empower parents, and that they'd be around as long as parents wanted them here. And, here's at least one that will take a pass.