Governing boards at Massachusetts charter schools are comprised heavily of individuals with corporate backgrounds, while most boards have few to no parents, according to a new report.
In the report, “Whose Schools?” researchers at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform analyzed the makeup of the boards of trustees for Massachusetts’ 82 charter schools. Of the 789 total board members, the researchers were able to find the backgrounds of 715 of those, according to the report. Only 14 percent of those 715 trustees are parents, while 31 percent had backgrounds in business.
Of the state’s 82 charter schools, 60 percent had no parents on their governing boards at all. Those charter schools that do have a significant number of parents on their governing boards tend to have a predominantly white student body, according to the report. The report also found that a high number of trustees live outside the district in which the school is located, which according to the report can have the effect of disenfranchising local parents.
The coming November election will include a ballot measure asking Massachusetts voters to approve expanding the number of charter schools in the state.