Manchester’s city school budget did not include money to bus students to two new charter schools that will be open this fall. (One is renting space here.) That was a violation of state law. Worse: school board members were aware of a legal conflict at the time they voted to cut the funding.
Looking for savings last month after refusing to stand up to the city teachers union by insisting on benefit reductions, the board voted to remove $82,559 set aside to bus students to the new charter schools. Board member Donna Soucy came up with the idea.
The problem ought to have been obvious. Charter schools are public schools. State statute requires that districts provide transportation to charter school students in the same way they provide it to students who attend traditional public schools.
This newspaper wrote of that vote two weeks ago, “In cutting the money for busing students to charter schools, the school board put the district on a potential collision course with the state. Lawmakers in Concord passed a law in the current legislative session that requires school districts to provide transportation for students in the district to charter schools also in the district.”
But what’s state law when you’re trying to save a few dollars so you can continue feeding the teachers union?