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Benjamin Karney: Charter school caters to all needs

Posted: September 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 26, 2012 2:00 a.m.

It was never our intention to homeschool our children. As a professor at public universities for nearly 20 years, my livelihood depends on public funding of education.

But when our daughter was diagnosed with an immune deficiency, we recognized that she had needs that did not fit easily within the structure of the public schools available to us. So we educated her at home, where she quickly advanced through coursework several years ahead of her chronological age. Her younger brother, sharing her environment, made the same rapid progress.

What would it take for us to place our children in a formal school setting as we had always imagined for them?

It would take a school with the flexibility to handle the intermittent absences that are a part of life for a child with health issues. It would take a curriculum capable of challenging these intellectually ambitious students, and a staff willing to implement such a curriculum regardless of their chronological age.

It would take administrators willing to work around the unique needs of my children, square pegs who refuse to be forced into any round holes.

The schools in my area, all highly ranked, are not able to change their procedures to fit the needs of my two kids, nor would I expect them to. A charter school, because it is smaller and free from state-wide, inflexible bureaucracies, can adjust its policies more easily for individual students.

Approving the Einstein-Saugus charter would offer our children a chance to participate in public school, whereas now that door is closed to us.

I hope that the Saugus School Board will honor charter school law, and meet the needs of tax-paying citizens, by approving the Einstein-Saugus charter.


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