FREMONT – One of the hot topics in concern to Nebraska’s State Education is the idea of charter schools.
According to the president of Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA), Jenni Benson, the state cannot afford to finance charter schools as well as public schools. The only ways to pay for the vouchers would be to take money from already underfunded public schools or raise taxes. Benson adds the NSEA would prefer to see the state’s resources go to public schools systems instead of being spread too thin over both.
“We are very concerned that we do not want to fund two education systems, because we really want the resources directed where they should be directed. And that’s public schools in Nebraska,” said Benson. “We have a really diverse state as far as the needs of urban and rural communities. We are very fortunate to have local control in those communities.”
Benson claims there is nothing a charter school can do that cannot be done in a public school in Nebraska.
“Data shows that charters are definitely not held accountable the way public schools are held accountable. The choice factor, where people who are supporting charter schools talk about the choice. We have school choice in Nebraska,” said Benson. “And if it’s about innovation, we want to make sure that innovation can take place in our public schools as well.”
Since becoming president of NSEA in April of 2017, Benson has been traveling around Nebraska, conducting interviews and speaking with communities. She says she has never heard someone speak in support of charter schools.
“I’ve been traveling across the state as president, and talking with community members, and stakeholders, as well as our members. And I have yet to have anyone say they are supporting charter schools,” said Benson. “They like their community schools. Public schools in Nebraska are doing very well. That’s not to say everybody doesn’t have room for growth, but they are able to do the kinds of things they need to within their own community.”
To listen to the full interview with the president of Nebraska State Education Association, Jenni Benson, you can go to 1340KHUB.com and TheBestMix1055.com and click on Podcasts.