Obama Proposes Increase for Charter School Funding in FY 2010 Education Budget
President Recognizes Charter Schools as a Key to the Foundation of Future Prosperity
by Impact Wire Thursday, February 26, 2009
"Although the exact numbers will not be known until April, we're pleased to see President Obama follow through on campaign promises by including an expansion of federal support for public charter schools in the FY2010 budget released today. Here and in his address to Congress Tuesday night, the President has emphasized that despite tough fiscal times, high-quality charter schools deserve increased support - indeed, that they are one of the keys to laying a firm foundation for future prosperity. We will work with the Administration and Congress to ensure that the new funding is paired with conscientious and evenhanded accountability for performance.
"There is much else to applaud. The budget brief calls for increased transparency around results for teacher and principal preparation programs - a position that mirrors our call for charter leadership programs whose performance is measured by student results.
"Increased support for 'school systems and nonprofit organizations with
demonstrated track records of success in raising student achievement' will allow high-performing, gap-closing charters to serve more of the 350,000 students now on waiting lists around the country.
"The 'Promise Neighborhoods' program is particularly gratifying to see included in the budget, since at the heart of the Harlem Children's Zone, on which it is modeled, are the high-performing Promise Academy Charter Schools.
"Finally, the budget statement includes an important commitment to research 'promising educational innovations that focus on improving student learning and achievement.' While there have been several outstanding studies released recently, overall there has been a notable fall-off in research on charter schooling in the past few years. We trust that this new support will foster a new round of rigorous, high-quality studies, especially in states that have large charter populations but little current research of value.
"Public charter schools have earned widespread bi-partisan support as a result of their success, and consequently we hope that Congress will join with President Obama in supporting this enhanced level of funding."
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (www.publiccharters.org) is the national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. The Alliance works to increase the number of high performing charter schools available to all families, particularly low-income and minority families who currently do not have access to quality public schools. The Alliance provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement. Currently, more than 1.4 million students attend 4,600 public charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The first charter school opened in Minnesota in 1992. Growth has risen sharply recently, with over 1,000 schools opening in the past three years.
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