Beata, a Boston Latin School Alumni recently shared why she’s coming out in favor of Question 2. Read her story below”
“I’m a graduate of Boston Latin School, the oldest public school in the country, and this is why I’m voting YES on Question 2:
This week, I happily cast my ballot and participated in Massachusetts’ early voting. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a political person by nature, but not necessarily on social media.
I want to urge and inform you about Question 2 on the MA ballot. The question that has riddled our newspapers, is the most expensive ballot question in MA history, and is storming our TVs and airwaves.
Over the past couple of months, I have informed myself on this controversial question. I have been shocked, scared, and dismayed by the way people have treated me after learning I was in support of a cap lift on charter schools. But as I reflect on the anger that comes from both sides of this issue, I have learned to come to terms with the hate. There is anger on both sides because we can all agree that our current education system is failing our kids. There is anger because we all want to fix the problem but can’t agree on the solution.
For those of you voting No on 2 – I know I cannot change your mind, and have no intention to do so. I know you have your reasons for being against this issue, and while saddened that I don’t agree with them, I hope that no matter what happens we can work together for the solution.
For those of you voting Yes on 2 – I thank you for your support. I have spoken with hundreds of you over the past couple of months and know that you or someone you know would benefit first-hand from this cap lift.
But this post isn’t for the people who have already made up their minds. It’s for the 9% of undecideds who have yet to form a firm position.
This week, I voted Yes on 2 because at the end of the day, parents and children in urban, low-income communities deserve choice. 32,000 kids in MA, and 10,000 kids in Boston are on waitlists for public charter schools, and it is time we let them have that chance.
I am a proud product of every type of education MA has to offer – from private school, to being bussed to Belmont as a METCO student, to attending a public charter school, to ultimately testing into Boston Latin School. I was able to attend Latin and ultimately BU, because my parents had access to many different school options as an elementary and middle school student. But that was back in the 1990s. Today, there are simply too many students applying for these public charter seats. There are simply too many kids trying to find the opportunities that my parents found for me.
I’ve spoken to many people my age and we can all agree – we are in a weird place when it comes to this question. We are too old to have a personal stake in the current education system and too young to start thinking about our future kids’ education.
But Boston Latin has taught me this – we were raised to be “responsible and engaged citizens”. As a longtime resident of Boston and a proud BLS alum, I want the next generation of students to have the same access to a great education as I did. While we all know there can only ever be one BLS, public charter schools are closing the achievement gap four times more than the average district schools. They are serving ELL and SPED students, have longer schools days and school years, and have autonomy over their curriculum. Parents are demanding seats in these schools, simply because public charters are a great alternative. If you were a mother to a 5th grader in a local district school and your kid couldn’t read at grade level, wouldn’t you want the option of another school too?
This week I cast my ballot and voted Yes on 2 and I urge you to do the same. I stand with charter supporters Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and US Sec. of Education John King. I stand with Yes on 2 supporters MA Governor Baker, MA Speaker of the House (and BLS alum) Robert DeLeo, Arne Duncan, and City Councilor (and BLS alum) Andrea Campbell. I stand with the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Bay State Banner.
Over the next 11 days, you will most likely hear from both sides, but please remember this. You are voting most likely not for yourself, and not for your kid, but for tens of thousands of kids that deserve a shot at what you had and want it. Don’t you think they deserve it?”