Last week, President Biden unveiled his first presidential budget, revealing a commitment to educational equity with a historic 41 percent increase in education funding. As we emerge from a pandemic that has left millions of students struggling, this proposed increase is a bold step. He proposed big increases for a number of programs including:
- $36.5 billion in proposed support for Title I schools
- $15.5 billion for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
- $100 million to help foster diverse schools
- $1.3 billion for the 21st Century Learning Center
- $1 billion for a new School-Based Health Professional Program
As public schools, charter schools will benefit greatly from the administration’s support for these programs!
What’s missing from the president’s budget?
The president’s budget includes a request for $440 million in funding for the Charter Schools Program, which would be the same as the program is currently funded. The National Alliance—and more than 6,000 of our closest friends—asked for an increase to the Charter Schools Program to bring that number up to $500 million. For a program that is less than 1% of federal spending on K-12 education, it’s not a lot, but it would make a big difference for kids.
Without an increase in funding, there will likely not be enough funding to meet the demand for new awards. That could mean fewer new charter schools in coming years.
Over the past year, we’ve seen demand for charter schools grow significantly as parents have had to make tough decisions about how to continue their kid’s education through the pandemic— Americans are showing that what they value in public education is more public school options.
What can you do?
Don’t forget the power of constituent voice.
As voters, we put members of Congress into office and those members work for us. If you don’t like the direction things are headed, letting them know about it is a good place to start.
It only takes a minute to send an email to your members of Congress (we drafted it for you!) and let them know that you stand with the families who are demanding more options for their families.
Kim McCabe is the senior director of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.