PAA opposes US Senate charter expansion bill S.2304

Parents OPPOSE S.2304,

the “Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act”

Downloadable version of this position paper here.

On May 7, 2014, S.2304 was introduced to the US Senate for consideration. The bill is currently in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. It is the Seante’s response to HR 10, the House version of charter school expansion legislation, which passed on May 9, 2014, on a vote of 360 to 45. PAA opposed HR 10. We also oppose this Senate bill:

PAA’s position: PAA opposes efforts to privatize public education through the expansion of charters, vouchers or other privately-run programs at the expense of regular public schools. Over the years, PAA has shared our concerns that:

  • Charter schools have turned out to be no better academically overall, and many cases worse than traditional schools.
  • Charter school “choice” too often lies with the charter school and not the families, as reports of skimming and push-out practices grow.
  • Some franchises like Chicago’s Noble Network use regressive discipline measures and expel students at many times the district rate.
  • Charter schools historically enroll fewer students with disabilities or English language learners.
  • The increased proliferation of charter schools could be harmful to students and communities, and may waste scarce education dollars.

PAA OPPOSES S.2304: PAA is opposed to any legislation that promotes expansion of charter schools without addressing most of the above problems. At a time when so many public schools are drastically cutting their basic budgets, why would Congress provide millions more to private school management companies that have not proven they are better alternatives?

PAA’s recommendations:

  • We believe in improving the schools we have, rather than shutting schools down in order to expand 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 not require fees, charge financial penalties, or otherwise create a financial barrier for students to be in school.
  • Charter schools and all other schools receiving public funds must be equally transparent and accountable to the public.

 

For more detail on PAA’s position on charter schools, please see http://tinyurl.com/bczrjqa

Contact us at info@parentsacrossamerica.org

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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