The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) has come out of its passive stance against criticisms being hurled at charter schools. The non-profit organization has put forward a petition calling for Democratic candidates to cease in their negative portrayals of charter schools.
Rather than cater to what pro-charter school advocates call as “powerful interests protecting the failed status quo,” political candidates seeking for votes, must instead seek input from the African-American and Latino families supporting the existence of charter schools.
The move comes after charter school advocates of color voiced concerns on how presidential candidates portray charter schools, particularly Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. This presidential candidate vows to ban every charter schools run by for-profit organizations, which represents about fifteen percent (15%) of all charter schools.
As if charter schools are not achieving what they have committed to accomplish, Senator Sanders also threaten to cut charter school funding by half, until such time that a federal audit has been undertaken and completed.
What the NAPCS Says as the Potential Political Impact of Criticisms Against Charter Schools
NAPCS’ Senior Vice President of Advocacy Amy Wilkins, said,
“When politicians say something that is so different from what communities want, you have to ask yourself why.”..”Many black and brown parents are unhappy about that, as there is a huge support for charter schools coming from the African American and Latino communities.”
Ms. Wilkins quote Senator Sanders as having said that if he gets elected, he intends to stifle the growth of charter schools. The NAPCS argues that this is the wrong time to call for stifling charter school growth, as such a call suggests a lack of understanding of what those communities want. What the organization asserts is that while charter schools are currently serving 3.2 million children, around 5 million hope to enroll.
Wilkins mentioned a recent poll conducted by Democrats for Education Reform, which shows that 52% of Hispanic Democrats and 58% of African American Democrats support charter schools. On the question of those opposed to charter schools, votes came from the majority of White Democrats.