Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees has released the following statement:
“The National Alliance is deeply concerned with the passage of H.R. 1. This bill jeopardizes the ability of charter schools to access the needed resources to secure a facility. Without facilities, new charter schools cannot open and existing, high-quality schools cannot expand or replicate.
“H.R. 1 eliminates the opportunity for public charter schools to access New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs), Private Activity Bonds (PABs), and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs) in order to finance school facilities. This is devastating to charter schools, which often struggle to find space and lack the amenities of district schools. In some states, charter schools receive zero facilities dollars, and in all states, charter schools are dependent on finding alternative and cost-effective means of accessing capital for their buildings. Without financial instruments like NMTCs, PABs, and QZABs, charter schools would have to divert resources away from high-quality classroom instruction and into facilities.
“We are grateful that the Senate bill protects NMTCs, PABs, and QZABs, which are essential pathways that make it possible for charter schools to acquire and maintain safe and appropriate school spaces. While not perfect, the Senate bill is the better bill for public school students, and we are hopeful it will prevail during conference.”
About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
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. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.