September 25, 2013
Calling Rep. Martin Walsh of Dorchester and City Councilor John Connolly of West Roxbury “strong advocates for charter schools,” the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association on Wednesday declared victory in the 2013 Boston mayoral election, saying it would create momentum for charter school expansion regardless of who wins. According to the association, seven of the 12 candidates in the preliminary election race supported eliminating the cap on charter schools and a WBUR poll found Boston voters favor lifting the cap by a 61-22 margin. Walsh and Connolly support leasing underutilized buildings to charter schools and equal funding for charter and district students. “With this election, Boston charter schools will no longer be cast as outsiders. Our place at the table is secure,” association executive director said in a statement Wednesday morning. In their push to lift state caps, charter school supporters have cited long student waiting lists. Lawmakers considering caps must also weigh the interests and support levels for traditional public schools. The association estimates 32,000 children are enrolled in charter schools, with 40,000 on waiting lists.