A new Senate caucus aims to help inform lawmakers and the public about charter schools and the role the growing sector can play in improving public education, organizers say.
Last week, Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced the Senate Public Charter Schools Caucus. The bipartisan caucus will work with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a Washington-based research and advocacy group, which will provide speakers for quarterly events and serve as a resource for the caucus.
“It will help solidify the charter presence on Capitol Hill,” said Todd M. Ziebarth, a policy analyst for the alliance. “The bipartisan nature of it is important.”
The timing is good, he suggested, as Congress is gearing up to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act, which includes some provisions specifically directed at charter schools.
“This will help bring attention to the charter-specific issues … that might otherwise not get much attention,” he said.
A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2007 edition of Education Week