A moratorium on new schools is not the answer

The St. Louis charter public schools are public schools working alongside St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) allowing families options for their children. The Missouri Charter Public School Association (MCPSA) and charter public school community wholeheartedly believe that the St. Louis community should join together to consider a strategic approach to public education in our city. This is why St. Louis charter school leaders and sponsors have joined St. Louis Public Schools and other parties supporting public education in the formation of the St. Louis School Collaborative. We all share a common purpose – ensuring all students have access to a high-quality education. 

However, the proposed moratorium to prevent new schools from opening isn’t the solution, would take away options from St. Louis families, and is antithetical to collaboration. When it comes to education, research shows that families don’t leave cities because there are too many options, they leave because of a lack of quality options. If education improves, enrollments increase, benefiting families and the entire St. Louis community as a whole. Charter schools open to meet those needs and provide high-quality education options for families who choose them. 

MCPSA believes that by working together with SLPS and other educational partners using authentic data regarding academic performance, we can blend our unique perspectives and strengths to create a comprehensive educational plan for the City of St. Louis. The sum of a community is greater than the individual parts. Together, we can identify areas where families need more high-quality schools and where they already exist – making high-quality education accessible to all. We don’t need a moratorium for collaborative work to move forward but we do need urgency to ensure the work moves forward in an expeditious manner. Because at the end of the day, our role as educators is about preparing students to succeed in school and life, not taking away their ability to choose what’s best for them.