Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to Assembly Bill 109.
As originally introduced, the bill was horrible. As amended, it is merely terrible.
The purpose of this bill is to help the teachers’ unions, not help our kids. It seeks to hamstring public charter schools by restricting who they may hire as classroom teachers.
Such bureaucratic interference in school management is one of the reasons our traditional public schools perform so badly and why so many parents choose the innovative charter school option in the first place.
And “choose” is the important word here.
No one is forcing parents to put their kids in charter schools. Parents who choose charter schools for their children are fully aware that their operation is very different from our traditional, union-run public schools. And the inconvenient truth is, there’s a waiting list to get into a number of them.
Instead of trying to force charter schools to operate more like so many of our failing traditional public schools, we should be trying to force our failing traditional public schools to operate more like charter schools.
And make no mistake. Simply pumping more money into our failing traditional public schools is not the answer. If a car has a blown engine, giving it an expensive new paint job isn’t going to fix the problem.
Charter schools work. And when something works, don’t fix it. I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and instead focus on REAL institutional changes to our traditional public schools rather than simply throwing more good money after bad.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.