Elizabeth Warren Won’t Support Charter School Expansion

She's voting 'no' on Question 2.

Photo via iStock/Kenneth Wiedemann

Photo via iStock/Kenneth Wiedemann

Elizabeth Warren, a onetime charter school true believer who has recently been less sure, announced Monday afternoon that she will be voting no on Question 2, the ballot question in Massachusetts that would raise the annual cap on them.

Here’s the full text of her announcement via the Globe‘s Political Happy Hour newsletter:

I will be voting no on Question 2. Many charter schools in Massachusetts are producing extraordinary results for our students, and we should celebrate the hard work of those teachers and spread what’s working to other schools. But after hearing more from both sides, I am very concerned about what this specific proposal means for hundreds of thousands of children across our Commonwealth, especially those living in districts with tight budgets where every dime matters. Education is about creating opportunity for all our children, not about leaving many behind. I hope that the Legislature, the teachers, and the parents can come together to find ways to make sure all kids in Massachusetts get a first-rate education without pitting groups against each other.

After Warren expressed that she had some concerns about the impact of charter schools on the state, she had faced pressure from ballot question opponents to take a stand on the issue.

It’s significant that the senator is getting out ahead of the debate this time around, given that she spent the almost the entire primary tip-toeing around an endorsement for either of the Democrats running for the presidential nomination. She also hasn’t come down one way or the other on Question 4, which would legalize recreational marijuana and is another battleground this year.

But now the anti-charter half of the debate—which is probably the most contentious of the year—has the support of a majorly influential political figure, and one who represents the on-the-fence voter that charter opponents are hoping to win over. The No on 2 camp does appear to be celebrating:

We are grateful to have Senator Warren as an ally in our fight to protect our public schools and ensure that all kids have access to a high-quality education. As a charter school supporter, her leadership in opposition to Question 2 echoes what we are hearing from families across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts voters understand that Question 2 will take billions of dollars away from successful public schools and send it to privately-run charters.

The most recent WBUR poll on ballot questions found the anti-charter side was prevailing in the state in mid-September.