As a longtime North Brunswick resident, I wanted to speak against defunding public education in favor of charter or private schools.
The issues with charter schools have become more divisive after Betsy DeVos was sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Education. Mrs. DeVos is a strong proponent of transferring public funds in the form of vouchers to attend choice schools, creating consternation in the education community who view her nomination to derail public education and replace with charter or faith-based schools.
Charter schools were originally created for low-income communities with poor education systems and infrastructure so that they could provide students with a chance to receive quality education somewhere other than their neglected public schools. Ironically, charter schools are now located in extremely good public school communities with higher per capita incomes such as Princeton, which hosts the top 10 schools in New Jersey.
Another important flaw of charter schools is that they usually do not have special education programs, which only the public schools offer and are required to by law.
In addition, public education should be free from religious influence which private schools are often structured to teach. Good public schools demand funding to raise teachers’ salaries to attract the brightest minds into teaching. This can only be done if charter schools stop defunding our schools. Therefore, it is imperative that we protest the implementation of charter schools in New Jersey before they completely drain our money and destroy our public school systems.