Charter Champions: 2009

Cumberland, Rhode Island Mayor Daniel McKee

McKee led a coalition of community and business leaders to secure passage of legislation in 2008 that created mayoral academy public charter schools in Rhode Island. This bill is the most significant piece of charter school legislation to pass in Rhode Island since the original charter school law was enacted in 1995.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

Richardson has provided strong leadership in supporting the expansion of public charter schools. In 2006, he led the effort allowing the state Public Education Commission to serve as a high-quality authorizer. He signed into law the Charter School Capital Outlay Fund and allocated $4.5 million for its funding. He also helped create the Charter School Lease Assistance Fund and more than doubled its per-pupil funding between 2004 and 2009.

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman

Lieberman has long been a dedicated charter school supporter. He co-sponsored the Public School Redefinition Act of 1993 that established the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) and was absorbed into the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994. Since then, the CSP has provided more than $2 billion to start-up charter schools. He co-sponsored the Charter School Expansion Act in 1998, and he led the adoption of the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities and the State Facilities Incentive Grants programs in 2001. Georgia State Representative and House Majority Whip Jan Jones worked to establish the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, an independent alternate charter school authorizer, by sponsoring and securing passage of House Bill 881 in April 2008. In the latest session (2009), Jones co-sponsored and demonstrated strong leadership for the passage of House Bill 555 which gives charter schools across the state access to school district facilities without rental charges.

Georgia State Representative and House Majority Whip Jan Jones

Jones worked to establish the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, an independent alternate charter school authorizer, by sponsoring and securing passage of House Bill 881 in April 2008. In the latest session (2009), Jones co-sponsored and demonstrated strong leadership for the passage of House Bill 555 which gives charter schools across the state access to school district facilities without rental charges.