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Brighton Teachers Form First Charter School Union

Teachers at a Brighton charter school have voted to unionize, creating the first teachers union at a charter school in the state.

WBUR's Abigail Beshkin reports.

The American Federation of Teachers now represents the faculty of the music-oriented Conservatory Lab Charter School.

The vote comes as a disappointment to the Charter Public School Association's Marc Kenen, who says charter schools are supposed to operate outside traditional school bureaucracies.

KENEN: Charter schools were created as labs of innovation where we could try new ways of structure, new ways of teaching, new ways of management

But the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts President Tom Gosnell says a union can only help.

GOSNELL: Faculties that are interested in innovative ideas, we want to work with them to help them develop those and help them to make their school stronger.

School officials say they were surprised to learn their faculty had unionized and believe the decision may have been sparked by problems with former managers.

This program aired on November 26, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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