Baker, Walsh push additional charter schools in Mass.

BOSTON (WPRI/AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is making his case to a state education committee Tuesday to let the state add up to a dozen new or expanded charter schools.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh also presented testimony Tuesday to the Joint Committee on Education.

“I have seen first-hand the value that public charter schools provide to our students and our communities,” said Walsh. “Charter schools have proven that they belong in our portfolio of schools, along with district, private, and parochial schools.”

Baker says his charter school proposal will effect charter school growth in districts currently performing in the bottom 25 percent statewide.

Walsh gave numbers to propose lifiting the cap on public charter schools. He’d increase the charter cap to 23 percent of net school spending for the lowest 10 percent district. The cap increase would be phased in every year by half a percent of a district’s net school spending.

He also suggested eliminating the current charter tuition reimbursement formula for cities and towns, and cutting out a middleman by having the Commonwealth provide per-pupil facility rates directly to the charter schools, not making the money go through municipalities.

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