Rare Bipartisan Support Secures Charter Bill Passage
Measure would let states tap into federal funding, replicate proven models
The U.S. House of Representatives took what has become a rare step last week: It passed an education bill with broad bipartisan support. The Sept. 13 bill involving charter schools passed by an overwhelming vote of 365 to 54—but there was still a lot of drama behind the scenes.
The measure is one of a number of small, targeted bills the House will consider in reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act. It would allow states to tap federal funds to replicate charter school models that have a track record of success. Right now, the federal charter school program is financed at $255 million.
In the past, federal charter laws were “really focused on growing new models, and that was very appropriate when the charter movement was getting launched,” said Alice Johnson Cain, the vice president for external relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in Washington. “Twenty years in, we have a good sense of what the effective schools are.” She said the bill would encourage “replication and expansion of...
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