I’m writing you to ask you to VOTE NO on HB 702, the state charter authorizer. This bill creates a new, unelected, unaccountable government bureaucracy led by Kevin Huffman with authority to overrule locally elected officials regarding what schools to open and fund.
Under this bill, there is no limit on the number of schools or dollars that the panel could obligate a community to fund without regard for local budgets. As a result, there is a high likelihood that property tax increases will be needed to cover out of control spending mandated by this new bureaucracy. In a year when we cannot afford to give teachers nominal raises, a vote to fund a bureaucracy with this power is highly questionable.
In addition, the panel will have the power to require communities to fund schools that do not share the values of the local community.
Also worth noting: The counties covered by the bill are likely to expand once PARCC testing recalibrates school performance and further drives rural district scores downward due to technology deficiencies.
We elect you every two years with the expectation that you’ll have the power to carry out your duties. Please honor the same principles as they relate to our locally elected officials and ensure that they – not an unelected charter czar – have the ability to look after our budgets, our values, and our school growth.