Public charter schools have long been a source of debate in Phoenix, AZ and across the nation. Before the pandemic, many states actively considered pausing charter school creation or halting it altogether. As many education advocates point out, this is not the time to halt schools of any type, especially if they’re doing a good job serving their communities. In fact, now is actually the best time to expand charter schools and other schools that are setting the bar high when helping their students.
Conflicts around charter schools
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended the American education system. Since it’s not universally considered safe to send children back to school—they can spread COVID-19 even if they don’t fall ill themselves—parents, educators and administrators have been scrambling to decide what to do.
In some cases, teachers’ unions are making charter school moratoriums part of their conditions. The argument is that with limited funding, we should be spending the money on fewer schools, not more. This does not make schools safer for reopening—it mistakenly tries to address the funding issue that has plagued schools of all stripes for decades now.
Instead of halting the expansion of public charter schools in Phoenix, AZ, they should do the opposite. The best schools are those that close the achievement gap between BIPOC and white students, and that offer opportunities for social-emotional learning and community engagement. Charter schools are uniquely suited to closing achievement gaps and promoting academic excellence. Since they’re not bound by arbitrary district, state or federal metrics, they have more freedom to adapt the curriculum to foster real-world skills and experiences. This allows them the flexibility to meet students’ needs however and whenever necessary.
Charter school proponents argue that this is exactly what we need more of—not less.
Benefits of charter schools
Here’s a closer look at several of the specific benefits afforded by charter schools to Phoenix, AZ students and families:
Smaller classrooms: Most (if not all) students benefit from more one-on-one time with their educators. Charter schools are known for their smaller classroom size, which allows teachers to connect with students and help them get the most out of their learning experience.
Adaptable curriculum: Unlike public schools, charter schools can adapt their lessons to foster real-world skills and community engagement. This allows students to feel more in control of their learning, and less like they’re trapped by mandated curriculum requirements.
Customize your learning experience: Kids who attend charter schools are more likely to stay engaged and interested because they can tailor their classes to their skills and interests. Whether they’re interested in science, art or another subject, they can choose that particular track.
Avoid educational red tape: Traditional schools are mired in educational red tape. Charter schools are autonomous, so they have the freedom to adjust learning experiences, curriculum and more—without having to seek permission from an outside entity.
If you want to keep your children focused and engaged with their education, consider joining Pointe Schools, a public charter school system in Phoenix, AZ. Call us today to learn more about enrollment and educational opportunities.