The National Alliance Releases Statement on President Biden's FY2024 Budget

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Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding President Biden’s FY 2024 Budget:

“The President’s budget calls for significant increases in K-12 education – a 13.6% jump from the 2023 enacted level – for a total of $10.8 billion in additional funding. The additional resources for K-12 would help meet critical post-pandemic educational, mental health, and staffing needs. Sadly, this proposed increase does not include a boost in support for expanding access to high-quality charter schools. Requested funding for the Charter Schools Program remains flat another year. 

“We are disappointed that President Biden is proposing flat funding the vital Charter Schools Program, which has been level funded by Congress since FY2019. However, we were encouraged to see that the Department of Education requested greater flexibility to adjust spending in response to demand across the program components. This is a positive step. 

“All students and families deserve access to a high-quality public education. The nation’s 7,700 public charter schools are committed to ensuring that happens – providing a free, student-centered learning environment to 3.7 million students – and millions more families who are hoping to have the same opportunity.  

Over the past three years, enrollment in public charter schools increased by 7%—evidence that parents were looking for something more and better for their children during a time of crisis. Parents turned to charter schools for their strong community ties, powerful student focus, and ability to pivot quickly and meet the needs of families. Ninety-three percent of American parents across the political spectrum agree that one size does not fit all in education and 73% of parents with school-aged children expressed their approval of charter schools in a survey conducted by The Harris Poll in 2022. 

“The CSP amounts to less than 1% of federal spending on K-12 education. To continue expanding these unique and proven public schools to serve more families, we rely on the Charter Schools Program, the nation’s only source of federal funding for new, expanding, and replicating high-quality charter schools.  

“The National Alliance and our partners are asking Congress for $500 million to ensure charter schools are able to continue serving the communities that want and need them. It is particularly important that CSP funding effectively supports charter school facilities. Charter schools are an important part of public education, and yet these special public schools are generally not afforded the same funding for utilities and maintenance, nor access to school buildings, as district schools. Lack of access to facility support continues to restrict the growth of charter schools, which limits their ability to meet parental demand and pulls resources away from academic programming and student services. Additional CSP funding will remove financial barriers to starting new schools and expanding existing high-performing schools. All public school students should have the right to learn in a safe, clean, and functional environment. 

“While we continue to work with Congress to do more to meet the needs of charter school students, we are pleased that the President’s budget included increased funding for other education programs that help all public school students. 

“Charter schools serve a disproportionate number of students from low-income communities, so a $2.2 billion increase for Title I funding will certainly have an impact on our students. As well, it will be helpful for all public school students – including charter school students – to see $7 billion more than FY2023 enacted levels for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs and new support for schools to design and adopt formative and diagnostic assessments to support effective teaching and learning.”