Early next week The United States Senate will debate an appropriations bill that includes a new $10 billion education jobs fund just passed by the US House of Representatives. This bill would provide funds to states to help prevent thousands of teachers in district public schools across the country from losing their jobs. A good thing.
Unfortunately, the bill aims to pay for this by slashing federal charter school funding by $100 million or 40% of its current level. It will also use funds to pay for the jobs bill from the highly successful Teacher Incentive Fund and Race to the Top program.
The federal charter school program provides start-up funds for new charter schools and supports the dissemination of best practices from charter schools. This bill would cut off start-up funds to new Massachusetts charter schools that would be created by the recent raising of the state charter cap.
Please click on the “Take Action” button on our homepage to send a message today to our Senators to oppose these cuts!
Stay tuned for updates.
Federal Charter School Funding Cuts Avoided!
Late last night the U.S. Senate voted down a U.S. House of Representative proposal for a $10 billion teacher jobs bill. The House bill, which President Obama had threatened to veto would have been funded partially by cuts in the U.S. Charter School Program, Race to the Top fund and the Teacher Incentive Fund. The action came on a procedural vote with 46 voting in favor of the bill and 60 being needed.
The charter school movement throughout the country mobilized in an unprecedented scale to help defeat the measure.
Massachusetts Senators voted in the following way:
Senator Kerry voted in favor of the bill (to cut charter funding)
Senator Brown voted against the bill (to prevent charter cuts).
Thank you to the thousands of you who emailed them!
So, let’s get this straight. In a time of fiscal stress and massive teacher layoffs, the public policy action of choice is to stiff local school districts in order to fund start-up charter schools?