Holyoke School Seeks To Lift Charter Cap In Low Performing Districts

Charter school advocates in Massachusetts are lobbying lawmakers to lift the cap on the number of charters in low performing districts.

Holyoke has two charter schools and under current law can’t add any more. Sonia Correa-Pope leads the Holyoke Community Charter School. She says her school has been particularly successful with Latino students, and wants to expand into high school.

“So the program is working,” says Correa-Pope. “And so our intention is to increase the program to a K-12 so that we can send the kids directly to college.”

Governor Deval Patrick says he supports charter schools, but says lifting the cap could raise funding issues. Charter opponents say they divert money from traditional public schools.  The governor  spoke to WGBH radio.

“There’s a lot of negotiation in order to get to any complex legislation,” he says. “And the funding issue is real… particularly as the number of charter schools grow.”

The legislature’s education committee has until Wednesday to approve a charter school bill. Patrick says although he’s hopeful, he’s not confident they’ll act.