Letter to U.S. Senators: oppose more money, less accountability for charter schools

This week the U.S. House is likely to pass HR 10, what we call the charter expansion bill. Then it is on track to move to the Senate. So, now’s the time to contact your Senators and tell them that parents’ CHOICE is more resources for local schools, not more money for charter schools. It wouldn’t hurt to contact your Congressman, too – they haven’t voted yet!

Here’s what PAA faxed to every U.S. Senator today (and you can send it to yours via email, fax or just call it in):

Parent Voices Education Fax

May 8, 2014

Parents OPPOSE HR 10, the charter school expansion bill

In the next few days, you will be asked to consider a companion bill to HR10, a bill that funds more charter schools without putting into place adequate accountability requirements. Charter school advocates will try to spin the facts while they ask you to open up the nation’s wallet for more of these privatized programs.

A report released this week by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education reveals that fraudulent charter operators in 15 states are responsible for losing, misusing or wasting over $100 million in taxpayer money. “Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud And Abuse” draws upon news reports, criminal complaints and more to detail how, in just 15 of the 42 states that have charter schools, charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more.

A research report also released this week by the National Education Policy Center, “Wait, Wait. Don’t Mislead Me! Nine Reasons to Be Skeptical About Charter Waitlist Numbers,” concludes that charter advocates vastly overestimate the number of students on their waiting lists. No doubt because charter schools have not proven to be better than traditional schools, privatization promoters are using the “waiting list” argument to explain the urgent need for Congress to pay for more charter schools seats. Yet the truth is that even this argument is shaky.

PAA OPPOSES HR10: PAA is opposed to any bill that promotes expansion of charter schools without addressing many of the problems they have created and failed to solve! At a time when so many public schools are drastically cutting their basic budgets, why would Congress provide millions more to unregulated private school management companies that have not proven they are better alternatives?

  • We believe in improving the schools we have, rather than shutting down traditional schools to make way for more charter schools.
  • All charter schools should have neighborhood boundaries and accept all children from within those boundaries whose parents choose to enroll their child at the charter school. Charter school enrollment processes should be consistent with and as simple as those of neighborhood public schools.
  • Charter schools should be held accountable for their enrollment, discipline, transfer, and other practices.
  • Charter schools and all other schools receiving public funds must be equally transparent and accountable to the public.

Parents Across America is a national network of parent activists working together to improve public schools. PAA includes 50 chapters and affiliates in 25 states.

To find out more about PAA’s position on charter schools, please see http://tinyurl.com/bczrjqa

www.parentsacrossamerica.org info@parentsacrossamerica.org

 

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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