As an educator who taught within the public school system for years and also as a mother who watched her daughter successfully navigate that system, I feel that, for the most part, charter schools have a negative impact on public education. Often, they draw the best, brightest and/or most talented from the ranks of the public schools, leaving a void in certain areas. For example, a local performing arts school might deplete the pool of candidates needed to sustain a strong drama department at the public high schools. An academic, college-oriented charter school would threaten the competitive spirit that often motivates and sustains academic success. Also, charter schools are funded by taxpayer dollars; all of the money used to fund charter schools means a significant loss of funding for public schools. Perhaps we need to rethink what the meaning of a public school education truly is.