Note: I addressed Dr. Kraus-Friedberg’s concerns about charter schools in my weekly newsletter. Click here to receive some weekly awesomeness.

In her letter to the News & Observer, she writes,

Those of us who have children with special needs, or children who struggle with standardized tests, are denied access to charter schools. Not to mention those of us who cannot drive our kids to and from school every day (since charters in North Carolina don’t provide transportation).

Charter schools are not permitted to deny a seat to any student based on educational needs. As of the 2008-2009 school year, North Carolina charter schools served 3,828 students or 9.4 percent of total enrollment in exceptional children programs. Approximately 7.8 percent of district school students participated in exceptional children programs last year. As for transportation, some charter schools provide transportation. For those that do not, parents create carpools. Go figure – parents have the ability to come together and solve problems!

To top it off, charters are not subject to oversight by the school boards that voters elect. This means that even parents whose children can attend charter schools have no legal right to input into their children’s education.

Parents have a legal right to input into their children’s education – THEY CAN LEAVE a school that does not meet the needs of their children. In this way, charter administrators and teachers have a huge incentive to listen to parents, unlike the monopoly school that most children attend.

Why should we be paying for schools most of us can’t use, and which deny us a voice in our kids’ education? Public schools are imperfect, but we still have the right as taxpayers to work on making them better. Why are Republican legislators auctioning that right away?

Thousands of children remain on charter school wait lists because state law caps the enrollment growth of individual charter schools. In this sense, most of us “can’t use” charter schools. By the way, charter schools are public schools.