Greg White and Tricia Reidy: Frustrated that Chinese charter school advertises on NEPR

Published: 12/20/2019 8:00:24 PM
Modified: 12/20/2019 8:00:11 PM

We write to express our frustration that the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is advertising on New England Public Radio.

Supporting the local affiliate of National Public Radio is certainly a worthy cause, of course. But it seems wholly inappropriate that taxpayer monies should be used to market PVCICS. In “Where do charters fit in ed funding debate?” (July 8, 2019), Nancy Grossman cited the Department of Education website stating that the PVCICS has an annual surplus of $406,000 and an advertising budget of $110,000.

In most area public schools this advertising budget alone could pay for the salary of a teacher and perhaps an aide. Even if the underwriting is provided by privately-raised money, there doesn’t seem to be a need to advertise to get more students to PVCICS.

We understand that there is a waiting list for kindergarten students, who are selected by a lottery. Even if giving funds to NEPR is an attempt to appear to be giving back to the community, it still seems misplaced. The bottom line is that we don’t hear ads for traditional local public schools, which remain cash-strapped.

We know that the topic of public charter schools is controversial in western Massachusetts, and we respect that parents make personal decisions about whether to place their children in them. Nevertheless, for its part, PVCICS should exercise better judgment in its use of taxpayer monies.

Even privately-raised money shouldn’t be used to undercut education at other public schools.

Greg White

Tricia Reidy


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