A couple months ago, it looked like the Boston Archdiocese was actively cooperating with charter schools. No more. With enrollment in Catholic schools flagging (in part because charters are tuition free), Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley decided to take off the gloves. The Archdiocese now refuses to lease or sell school facilities to charters. Among the victims is high-achieving Boston Collegiate Charter School, which had been in negotiations to buy a church-owned building. That's over. To his credit, however, O'Malley isn't simply making life difficult for charters. He has also enlisted top business leaders to raise money for Boston-area parochial schools and is working to make those schools more efficient. Competition, we're confident, is a good thing. If the Catholic schools are able to pull off a, err, ahem, reformation, it's apt to benefit needy kids.
"The church vs. charters," by Steve Bailey, Boston Globe, April 13, 2007