Here's how some charter school advocates try to attack PTAs and others who oppose charter schools. Funny how they accuse PTAs of spreading propaganda. I'm glad they provided samples of letters, etc., though, because we might as well use these tools for our own cause. Here's the link for the source of this article: http://www.edreform.com/news/ptaislip.htm
BLOB Watch: PTA's Anti-Charter School Propaganda Campaign in Brentwood, New York
First it was Michigan ... next it was Virginia ... and the latest reports of PTA shady shenanigans now come from Brentwood, NY, on the subject of charters. Once again children served as carrier pigeons to deliver the PTA's anti-reform propaganda. Parents were treated to PTA-circulated myths over a pending charter school: referring to the potential opening of the Nehemiah Charter School, their flier charged "this charter school may have a devastating impact on the education of your child and could significantly raise property taxes. Programs for our children could be eliminated and class sizes increased." The PTA flier announced a school-district sponsored "hearing" on charter schools, and assured readers that "your PTA and all PTAs in Brentwood passed a resolution opposing Charter Schools."
Clearly the PTA's membership losses over the years to less than 10% of all parents means they don't have the attendance at local meetings to ensure their message gets out to all who choose to hear it voluntarily. Thus they've taken to school-sanctioned propaganda, despite many legal warnings about such actions possibly violating state and local policies regarding political and advocacy work.
URGENT PTA NOTICE
The town of Islip School Districts are holding a Public Hearing on the pending Charter School Application of the Nehemiah Charter School in Central Islip (housing students from Brentwood and Central Islip.) If granted, this charter school may have a devastating impact on the education of your child and could significantly raise property taxes. Programs for our children could be eliminated and class sizes may increase!
· On January 4, 2000 your PTA and PTAs in Brentwood passed a resolution opposing Charter Schools
· The Brentwood council of PTSAs is asking you to do two things:
1. Attend the Public Hearing on January 12, 2000 at 7:30 PM in the Central Islip High School Auditorium
2. Write to your local public officials opposing the granting of a charter to the Nehemiah Charter School.
For your convenience a sample letter is on the back of this notice. Simply return your letters to school with your child by THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2000 and they will be delivered to our public officials.
from the Brentwood Council of PTSAs
PLEASE ATTEND * PLEASE ATTEND * PLEASE ATTEND * PLEASE ATTEND
Dear (fill in name of Public Official):
As a taxpayer in the Brentwood School District, I am sending this letter to oppose the granting of a charter or the Nehemiah Charter School in Central Islip.
Brentwood is in the midst of a promising resurgence. This charter school will set back our progress as a school district and as a community. If this charter is granted, taxpayers, residents, and children may suffer. This charter may cause and unbearable tax burden for homeowners and the business community. It may also cause our students to suffer because of the loss of programs that could result from the reduction of funds available to the Brentwood School District. I urge you to oppose the granting of a charter to the Nehemiah School.
Note: A hand written letter will have the greatest impact.
Remember-return your letters to school with your child for delivery to our public official.
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/