The Boston Teachers Union is out to quash chah-dah schools using its big gun - the union contract. Its recently released 32-page contract proposal now being negotiated includes a request that the school system spend $100,000 a year to recruit charter families back to district schools. That money would pay for two letters, mailed to charter parents twice a year, which tout the virtues of traditional public schools. It would also cover transportation costs to bring charter parents to a week of district school open houses. "The school department has not done enough to retain kids and recruit kids," says union boss Richard Stutman. "We're trying to light a fire under them." Here's a radical thought: try giving parents a real reason to come back to your schools. Bells and whistles are nice, but quality education is a better bet. You might start by scrapping the other 31 pages of your contract proposal.

"Teachers' union eyes charter school students," by Tracy Jan, Boston Globe, January 27, 2006

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