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Letters | THE REAL LEVEL OF DEMAND FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS

Schools alone can’t cure broad social ills

I TAKE serious issue with Scot Lehigh’s assertion that charter schools are the solution to public education’s problems (“A new actor appears on school stage,” Op-ed, April 3). This is absurd. There are two main problems undermining public education that charter schools can do nothing about:

First, the way schools are funded is based on a fundamentally unjust system, drawing largely from local property taxes. This means that wealthier towns can fund their schools better and support superior programming and personnel than poorer towns.

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Second, we are increasingly becoming a country of haves and have-nots, and more and more families are either living in extreme wealth or extreme poverty.

Schools have never been structured to provide the social services that poor families in particular need (social work, health clinics, nutrition assistance, etc.). With even more families facing insurmountable economic challenges than in decades past, more pressure is put on schools to achieve the impossible: end poverty. “Closing the achievement gap” has become a code phrase for “closing the wealth gap.”

It is ridiculous and unfair to expect schools to accomplish something that can only come about due to serious and sustained political and economic change.

Jennifer Rose-Wood

Roxbury

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