WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders used the anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision to make a political announcement that he will call for a moratorium on charter schools in his campaign platform.
National Alliance Senior Vice President of Advocacy Amy Wilkins released the following statement:
"On behalf of the 3.2 million public charter school students, 26 percent who are African American (68 percent students of color), and the 5 million children whose parents would send their child to a public charter school if space were available, I express deep dismay at Senator Sanders’ wrongheaded call for a moratorium on high-quality public charter schools.
Senator Sanders’ misguided call is out of touch with the results that these schools are achieving, especially for African American students. African American students enrolled in a charter school earn an additional 59 days learning in math and 44 days learning in reading per year compared to their traditional school counterpart according to research published by Stanford’s CREDO.
Senator Sanders’ call is out of touch—as usual—with what African Americans want. Fifty-eight percent of African American Democratic voters support charter schools. More disturbing, the Senator—for personal political gain—would literally lock African American students into schools that have failed them for generations.
Today’s pronouncement once again demonstrates Senator Sanders’ limited understanding of and respect for African American families. It may be that perhaps because Vermont is one of very few states without charter schools that Senator Sanders doesn’t know first-hand how charter schools are improving public education. I would be happy to take him on a school visit anytime to meet with the innovative leaders and to hear from the parents who have made the choice to send their students to a public charter school that meets their needs."