Thursday, April 13, 2017

Trump’s budget boosts funding for school choice. So why are charter school chiefs unhappy about it? - The Washington Post

Trump’s budget boosts funding for school choice. So why are charter school chiefs unhappy about it? - The Washington Post:

Trump’s budget boosts funding for school choice. So why are charter school chiefs unhappy about it?


An unexpected thing happened when President Trump recently proposed cutting the Education Department budget by some 14 percent while spending a mountain of new money on charter schools and other school choice options. Some prominent operators of charter schools announced that they weren’t happy with the plan.
Trump and his education secretary, Betsy DeVos, have said their top priority in education is expanding school choice, and Trump’s 2018 budget proposal calls for a $168 million increase for charter schools, a 50 percent funding increase. It is also possible that the administration will push for a first-ever federal tax credit program that would steer public money into private schools. Such programs exist now in a number of states and DeVos has repeatedly called a Florida tax-credit program a model for the nation.
Under the draft budget, the 14 percent proposed reductions at the Education Department would cut or eliminate grants for, among other things, teacher training, after-school programs, and aid to low-income and minority college students. Trump would spend $1.4 billion on school choice initiatives, including charters.
Leaders of more than 20 charter school networks signed onto a recent op-ed in USA Today, which says that they don’t want the money if it comes at the expense of important programs that help students in traditional public schools. They wrote:
We see charters as an important part of a much broader effort to revitalize public education in America. Already, in cities such as New York, Denver, St. Louis and Houston, we see ourselves as partners, not competitors, with traditional school districts. These partnerships, we hope, will only grow in the future.
But to make that broader vision work, we need federal support for all schools, for all kids, not just kids in “choice” schools.
The authors of the piece are Dacia Toll, co-chief executive officer of Achievement First, a network of charter schools in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island; Richard Barth, chief executive officer of the KIPP Foundation, a network of charter schools in numerous states, including Maryland, New York, Texas, California, North Carolina, Illinois, Colorado and Ohio, as well as in the District of Columbia; and Brett Peiser, chief executive officer of Uncommon Trump’s budget boosts funding for school choice. So why are charter school chiefs unhappy about it? - The Washington Post:

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