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Statement from Nina Rees, President of National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on Moody’s Report: Charter Schools Pose Growing Risks for Urban Public School Districts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Moody’s Investor Services issued a special comment titled “Charter Schools Pose Growing Risks for Urban Public School Districts.” The report explained that as families in urban school districts opt-out of failing schools, and into public charter schools, the funding to these schools is reduced, putting their ability to repay their bonds at risk.

Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, issued this statement in response to the Moody’s report:

“The Moody’s report highlights an important trend in many American urban cores: more and more families are sending their children to public schools that better meet their needs. As families opt into public charter schools, the public money that supports their education is sent to their new school—as it should be. Public school funding should follow students to whatever public school they attend.

The Moody’s report features two urban school districts—Detroit and Philadelphia—that were in extreme financial distress long before public charter schools enrolled a significant share of the student population. For Moody’s to ignore the fact that 18 other urban schools districts around the country have at least 20 percent of their student populations enrolled in charter schools and are in fine financial health is disconcerting and does a disservice to investors.

We have been funding and financing schools and school buildings the same way for decades, despite giving parents an unprecedented level of choices and options they have never before had. It is past time for policymakers to restructure the way we fund schools and school buildings.

What Moody’s may consider “bad” for a small handful of school districts may not be bad for children. Public money should be used to ensure all children can attend a high quality public school and if, in delivering on that commitment, some poor performing schools or school districts lose students and revenue because they are no longer serving as many students, that is ultimately better for the families and the taxpayers in those communities.”

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. www.publiccharters.org.