The original intent behind ‘charter schools’ was to create small, public educational spaces where innovative teaching practices and alternative school design could be tested, refined, and (when proven effective) exported/adopted by public schools everywhere. JoAnn Groh and I designed Paulo Freire Freedom School in Tucson to this end.
PFFS was opened in 2005 as a demonstration site/lab school for best teaching practices and small school design. PFFS-Downtown was opened in 2014 as a demonstration site/lab school for innovative STEM teaching practices. Both schools are lab schools, intentionally capped at 75 students. We have provided extensive professional development (grounded in this work) to public educators both locally and nationally over the last 10 years.
Governor Ducey’s education budget, adopted during this past legislative session and being implemented by Superintendent Douglas, calls for drastic reductions in funding for small charter schools. PFFS faces a 12.7% reduction in state revenue for the 2015-2016 school year. We cannot sustain this powerful work with these reductions.