National Alliance Statement on Senate FY2020 Labor, HHS & Education Appropriations Bill

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Washington D.C. — Today, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the text of the FY 2020 Labor HHS appropriations bill, which funds a range of programs vital to American children and families, including the Charter Schools Program (CSP). The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is deeply grateful to Chairman Shelby and to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for education funding. Chairman Blunt’s strong advocacy for charter school students and families is reflected in this bill, which recognizes the need to continue to open new charter schools for the millions of families who would enroll their children in charter schools if space were available. The $460 million that the bill would provide for the CSP—a $20 million increase over this year’s funding levels—is an important step toward meeting the needs of these families and fulfilling their desire for more high-quality public school options. We urge members on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to put the interests of students first by supporting this funding level for the CSP.
National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees released the following statement in response to the bill:

“We are grateful to Chairmen Shelby and Blunt and the other members of the committee for championing the interests of students and families who want and need access to high-quality charter schools. We are keenly aware—as another school year gets underway—that millions of students who had hoped to be enrolled in a charter school still cannot attend one due to lack of space. Increased funding for the Charter Schools Program, the only federal program that provides one-time funding for charter schools to open, expand and replicate, is the best tool we have for addressing the hopes and dreams of these students and their families. We hope that members of Congress—from both chambers and both parties—keep these students—and their unmet need—at the center of the conversation as this bill moves forward.”

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