Congress Seeks To Cut $40 Million From Charter Schools, Impose New Regulations | Beaufort County Now | The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to cut $40 million from the federal Charter Schools Program, in a major policy shift away from the bipartisan support that charter schools have enjoyed in recent years.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David N. Bass.

    The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to cut $40 million from the federal Charter Schools Program, in a major policy shift away from the bipartisan support that charter schools have enjoyed in recent years.

    In addition to the funding cut, the move would prohibit federal funding for charter schools that contract "with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school," a move that would hamstring the ability of many charters to operate.

    The legislation — House Resolution 4502 — has drawn sharp criticism from charter school advocates, who say Congress is seeking to kneecap charters even as demand for educational alternatives spikes across the nation.

    "The goal of this legislation is to affirm Democratic Party allegiance to teacher unions, which have declared war on school choice generally and charter schools specifically," said Dr. Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation.

    A recent editorial by The Wall Street Journal pointed out that federal education funding has spiked 40% — to $102.8 billion — during the pandemic. President Biden's original budget proposal held funding for the federal Charter Schools Program steady at $440 million in total, but H.R. 4502 reduces that amount by 10%.

    Above and beyond the budget cut, charter school advocates say the language that bars charters from contracting with for-profit entities is problematic.

    "The imprecise and sweeping language in this bill has potentially far-reaching impacts for public charter schools," said Lindalyn Kakadelis, executive director of the N.C. Coalition for Charter Schools. "It threatens the loss of all federal funding for charter schools that contract with a for-profit company to 'operate, oversee or manage' school activities, with zero clarification about what those activities might be. If the bill passes with this language intact, it could jeopardize the operational viability of public charter schools nationwide — and the public school students educated by those schools."

    Stoops said traditional public schools also contract with for-profit entities for services, so singling out charters in the legislation is unfair.

    "Every school bus, computer, mop, light bulb, and ream of paper purchased by a school official comes from a for-profit enterprise," Stoops said. "If H.R. 4502 becomes law, then federal funds could be withheld from a charter school that contracts with a business to procure these and the thousands of items that make a school operational."

    Republicans in the U.S. House are mounting an effort to defend charters. N.C. Reps. Patrick McHenry, R-10th, and Madison Cawthorn, R-11th, have signed on to an amendment that would eliminate the funding cut and the new regulations, but the Democrats' slim majority in the House means the amendment is doomed if the vote falls on strictly partisan lines.

    The budget cut would come as demand for charter schools is at an all-time high in North Carolina. While traditional public schools experienced a 5% drop in enrollment during the pandemic, charter school enrollments leaped by 7.7%. Private schools saw a more modest increase of 3.3% in enrollments, while the rate of homeschooling jumped far ahead of the pack at an unprecedented 20.6%.

    According to the national school-choice advocacy organization ExcelinEd, 68.7% of charter school students are minorities and an estimated 1.2 million of the 3.3 million charter students are at or below the federal poverty level. Another 300,000 students have special needs or a disability.

    If successful in the House, the blow to charter schools would telegraph a possible shift leftward among Democrats in opposing charters. Recent administrations of both parties — including the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations — have supported charter schools, but Biden has taken a sterner stone against them.

    H.R. 4502 is pending in the U.S. House Rules Committee.
Go Back

HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

The staff of the N.C. ABC met Tuesday, Nov. 9, with representatives from 34 local ABC boards across the state to talk about ways to improve the distribution of high-demand, low-supply, allocated spirituous liquor products.
On Wednesday, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz grilled Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke over the Biden Justice Department ordering the FBI to investigate alleged “threats” against school board members and teachers.
In September, the chancellor of UNC-Wilmington, Jose Sartarelli, announced his plan to retire next year.
The Beaufort County Commissioners will get another bite at the patriotic apple, a fruit they far too often hold in great disdain, to pass this necessary resolution.
A controversial environmental program controlled by North Carolina’s attorney general and funded by hog farm proceeds returned today to the N.C. Supreme Court. The court must decide whether the AG can maintain control of the funding moving forward.
Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Marty Makary is speaking out about blanket vaccine mandates that are “ruining lives” and bizarrely discount natural immunity, which he said studies have shown to be 27 times more effective than vaccinated immunity.

HbAD1

I have been following the Sheppard case and the Franks case the last couple of years with a somewhat dispassionate interest. The wheels of justice grind and they do grind slow.
On Tuesday, just before 1 p.m. a shooter allegedly injured multiple people at Oxford High School in a suburban area roughly 45 miles north of Detroit.
Montana State University (MSU) professors and other faculty members have taken it upon themselves to verbally accost students protesting MSU’s mask mandate. In emails obtained by The Daily Wire, at least five MSU professors and faculty used work emails to harass and swear at engineering students.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 key metrics and trends.
A federal judge in Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday against Democrat President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in three states.
A top N.C. Senate education leader is criticizing Attorney General Josh Stein for his handling of the state’s defense in the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.

HbAD2

John Lacava explains why he is running for School Board

HbAD3

 
Back to Top