Statement from Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on the House passage of the fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
“We are grateful to our allies in Congress who believe in and advocate for charter schools, which are student-centered, tuition-free, and always public.
“Charter schools are an important piece of the American public education landscape serving 3.5 million students. In particular, we want to thank Patty Murray, Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee Chairwoman; Roy Blunt, Ranking Member of the Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee; and Tom Cole, Ranking Member of the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee. We also gratefully acknowledge the efforts and collaboration of Rosa DeLauro, House Labor-HHS Subcommittee and Full Committee Chairwoman. Together, these leaders showed their commitment to protecting funding for charter schools which overwhelmingly serve students from Black, Brown, and low-income families. These students depend on the personalized attention and innovative instruction from charter schools.
“The FY 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill provides level funding for the Charter Schools Program (CSP) at $440 million for the fourth year in a row. While we are pleased funding was not cut for these unique public schools, we are concerned that the continued level funding does not appropriately respond to the current demand for high-quality charter schools. During the 2020-2021 school year there was a 7% increase in charter school enrollment and several states passed legislation to expand charter schools in their states.
“In addition to funding for the CSP, we are also pleased with other aspects of the appropriations bill that will support students with disabilities and students from low-income families, many of whom are served by charter schools. This includes a $1 billion increase for Title I, a $406 million increase for IDEA Part B, and a $400 increase to the maximum grant for Pell grants.
“We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to increase CSP funding for FY 2023 to better meet the needs of students and families who want more high-quality options in public education.”