As a parent of students in public charter schools and a former parent board member of Voyager Public Charter, I have mixed emotions about Act 144 signed into law by Governor Lingle this week.
While I am am extremely proud of the legislation which has the potential to increase the number of public charter schools, which is an important step forward in our work for real education reform in Hawaii, the Act does not address the funding challenges for charters.
In the same move of removing restraint on one end of the charter school pipeline, this legislation effectively places a new constraint on the other end, which ultimately lessens the funding availabile for charters. Especially as the number of charters continues to grow, charter schools will unfortunately see fewer and fewer dollars available.
My sincere hope is that as the next Lt. Governor, I can work with the 2011 legislature to redefine the funding equation for charter schools in order to place them on equal financial footing with traditional public schools.
Lynn Finnegan is a Republican candidate for Lt. Governor