WASHINGTON, D.C. Today the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act in a bipartisan vote of 360 to 45. The legislation, introduced by Reps. John Kline (R-MN) and George Miller (D-CA) will strengthen and improve the federal Charter Schools Program.
We are very pleased the House has approved this bill to strengthen the federal Charter Schools Program, said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Start-up dollars provided by the federal Charter Schools Program have helped nearly 4,500 public charter schools open their doors and serve students. With more than one million student names on charter school waiting lists, parent demand for more charter schools is high and this bill will help give more families the opportunity to attend a high-quality charter school.
The federal CSPs primary purpose is to help expand the number of high-quality charter schools across the country through targeted grants. H.R. 10 includes several key improvements to existing law, such as:
- Giving priority in the state grant competition to states that do not limit the growth of charter schools;
- Supporting federal grants for the replication and expansion of high-quality public charter schools;
- Clarifying and codifying the Department of Educations recent guidance to allow charter schools to use weighted lotteries to give a preference to disadvantaged children in admission lotteries;
- Making state charter support organizations eligible to receive and disburse grants to fund the start-up and expansion of high-quality charter schools;
- Allowing students to remain within an existing family of charter schools as students move from elementary to middle to high school without having to reapply through a lottery;
- Strengthening state application requirements to ensure that start-up funds are awarded only to charter schools with fundamental autonomy over budget, operations, and personnel; and
- Providing increased flexibility for schools using start-up grants.
Public charter schools are an integral part of our education system and are giving disadvantaged students access to opportunities and success that many didn't believe were possible, continued Rees. We owe it to our nations students to offer them the best education possible and charter schools are helping make that goal a reality.
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, all but one independent research study has 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 for 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 our website at www.publiccharters.org.
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