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Teachers at two charter schools vote to unionize

The Herald reports the teachers have voted to join the Boston Teachers Union.

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Can't wait to see how this turns out in the long run.

Hopefully better for the kids.

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And the plot thickens....

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there goes the neighborhood.

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Yeah, you would think employees would be grateful little serfs, happy for the table scraps tossed to them by their overlord. /s

You realize that most charter school teachers are earning pathetic salaries*
They're not going to get raises to an appropriate wage without collective bargaining.

* https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/09/03/most-boston-charter-schools...

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they're in the wrong line of work and might do better seeking employment elsewhere.

I suppose you're going to come back with something about how even the guy who holds the signs for out-of-business sales on the street corner part time should make enough to feed a wife and two kids?

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Did you even read the link?

Charter schools aren't basing pay on merit. They're using a scale. On with no input from employees.

Smart move is to organize and bargain collectively and have a voice at the table.

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whether you support charter school vouchers or if you think the market forces you describe should set the rate and charter families should pay tuition completely out of pocket? How about public schools? Market forces as reflected in city referendums, taxes and school board campaign contributions? Or get rid of them entirely? I’d actually welcome a rethinking of some of the least forward-looking of historic union concessions. But you’re pushing all the wrong buttons here and unless you’re honestly advocating a wholesale move to private education of little kids (something no one will support you on) you are just digging a hole for those of us who want a reasonable approach to badly needed improvements in the academic standards of our city schools.

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but certainly less encumbered by state-imposed work rules and hiring practices than a purely public system.

What should set the voucher rate? That's a leading question. Whatever number I draw out of a hat is going to be either gold-plated and rife for profiteering or bare-bones and insufficient. Set the voucher number at whatever the per-pupil public cost is now, indexed appropriately and let schools charge more with parents paying out of pocket or less with the difference going back into the pool. Re-evaluate in ten years based on outcomes and repeat.

I don't have any other crystal ball to read from, but I suspect union shenanigans will either become self-evident and fix itself through creative destruction or won't be a problem since people will be competing for those voucher and extra dollars instead of having a guaranteed sinecure.

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And one reason that I didn't send my kids to private schools or charter schools is because you can't expect kids to get a good education if their teachers are underpaid, undereducated, undertrained, and under par.

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that's why test scores are high and graduates of Catholic schools get into great high schools.

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I think that was what the first anon was saying: you get what you pay for when it comes to having quality teaching. If you aren't required to pay for the education, experience, and continuing training that properly certified teachers need to get, you won't see instructional results.

BTW - If "test scores are high" at Catholic schools, you'll have to back that up with some actual data because I'm not seeing it. My husband taught at one for two years. Also, kids entering the public system from the Catholic schools in my city usually struggle for a while to catch up - to the point where it is a task force type issue.

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Boston Latin is full of kids who spent their first school years in Catholic schools, and I'm sure that BLA has a similar imbalance.

I'll give you one thing- the Catholic schools don't take the MCAS, so there is no good comparison across the board. I think the kids should take the test, but then again I think the government should be putting money towards those schools, too.

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From both private and public schools.

Your point doesn’t really refute Swirly’s.

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Folks, lets not go down the test score rabbit hole. It's fact that - test scores are correlated to family income level, catholic schools are private and cost money, parents send their kids there because they're invested in their education- all of these factors help to ensure that most students attending catholic schools do well in school and would probably score well on the MCAS. No matter what they pay the teachers. However, if you took those same catholic school teachers and put them in a single public school, the test scores of that public school wouldn't change dramatically. They should pay catholic school teachers more, but that has little to do with the quality of teaching or the success of the students at those schools.

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Funny thing. I went to catholic schools for the first 9 years of my education. I then had to transfer to Boston public schools because my dad died. I was in the 10th grade math class re-learning the math I had learned in the 4th grade at the catholic grade school I went to.

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The link says average pay is $55k. Why is that bad?

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It's not bad I guess, I mean it's not enough to live in Boston, raise a family on, or buy a home, but yeah, a lot of people would be happy with 55k. Now of course it's an average so many teachers are making less than that (especially the first year teachers who have tons of college and grad school debt). But look, they are having problems with retention, maybe more money will help keep people around, that's usually how it works. Also, the teachers themselves talk about how they need more teacher voice and input at the school and a union would help with that too. Lastly, if you think 55k is great why don't you apply for a job? With problems with retention it seems like they hire a lot of people every year.

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Charters get about $18k per student in funding. They have to pay for their own facilities, but can raise a little extra money. Not sure what percent of revenue goes to teachers, but my guess is these budgets are run on a fraying shoestring.

Guessing this has more to do with work rules than pay.

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but since when has it been the norm for a single-earner household to be able to do those things? Burger flippers and sign holders don't get paid much either. A little closer to the point, there are plenty of "white-collar" jobs that by themselves don't pay enough to live the upper middle class life on a single salary. Academic jobs in top-flight universities around here pay zilch compared to equivalent private sector positions. So what?

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Median salary in the Boston area is about $20k more than that.

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I don't see that anywhere in the article. Also, average is meaningless. Someone could be making $25k while another is making $85k.

Unions protect workers and ensure fair pay. They keep employers accountable.

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I understand you can debate teachers salaries to the cows come home, but $55k is not a lot for a job in which a bachelor's degree is required, and a good majority have a master's degree. Typically in an office setting this is a what a mid-level office employee would make this, I would like to think we are looking for a little bit more out of our teachers in this state.

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In an ideal world, charter school teachers would unionize, public school teachers would be covered by right-to-work.

I'm not expecting to ever see that happen.

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Hopefully they can use their new teacher voice and power to suggest ways to bring down their incredibly high suspension rates. Hopefully they can earn a wage that they can raise a family on and purchase a home with. I'm sure it won't be easy and this is just a start, but more union membership is better for teachers and students (there's actually correlation with higher test scores, you can google it). Bravo to these teachers, hopefully more charters will follow suit.

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An example of why it's important to have two newspapers in Boston.

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