To the editor:

It has been interesting to read letters and ads from Representative Woodcock. It seems as though he wants the people of Conway to believe he is a “passionate supporter of education.” His votes in the State House tell a far different story.

A few weeks ago, he wrote about charter schools and the partisan rejection of a $46 million federal charter school grant by he and his Democrats on the Legislative Fiscal Committee. In one paragraph he recognizes the good work and quality education of charter schools but in the next raises concerns about the quality of instruction. Which is it? I would think that as a member of the Education Committee, he should know that in 7 of 8 subject/grade categories, charter schools out perform traditional public schools. So why not fund them?

He also was wrong about the required number of “certified” teachers required in charter schools. It is 50%. Something he should know being on the Education committee. He voted against letting traditional public schools be freed from administrative rules so they can innovate like Charter Schools do. He also voted against a $100,000 budget appropriation to provide scholarships worth $1.5 million of college credits for our children. So, what part of education does he support?

Rep Woodcock talks about his fear that a new charter school would result in less money for the declining student population in traditional public schools. (What’s wrong with cost saving?) It is strange that Rep. Woodcock does not know that charter schools ARE public schools. His real objective comes out here. It is all about money, not the kids. He was right about one thing – it is time to move to a 21st century model. That model puts parents in control of their children’s education, not their zip code. School choice needs to be available for all, not just the wealthy. I.e. our school taxes should go with the children to where they are educated, not monopolized by only going to declining traditional public schools!

John Hartman