Success — Reluctant, Begrudging, Hesitant, Minimal — but Success

After several tries, and pleading for years, the Montgomery County Board of Education has finally begrudgingly agreed to allow a charter school to operate in the county.  The Community Montessori Public Charter School will open in Kensington next fall (2012).

There must have been some arm-twisting going on, because the Board still was clearly opposed to the idea of a school that would compete with Montgomery County Public Schools.  Of eight members, two voted against the application, and the Board president showed his distaste, too. 

I can only conclude that they had run out of roadblocks to throw in front of the school organizers.   Another applicant, Seneca Creek Charter School ,  gave up on Montgomery County and will organize in Frederick County, instead.

I  hope that this is the beginning of the loosening of the MCPS monopoly, but I’m not optimistic.  The new superintendent, Joshua Starr, is not a fan of charter schools, finding them “unnecessary”.  Note the attitude there: You can have a free education at any school that he thinks is “necessary” to exist.  He will fit right into Montgomery County, where the government does not want residents to have a choice, but rather accept what the county thinks is best for them.

I don’t know whether the students will get a “better” education at one of these public schools than their local public school.  But I know that we are all better off if the choice exists.   That choice exists at 51 charter schools that will be operating in Maryland next fall.  Only one of those fifty will be in Montgomery County.

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