WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Dec. 8, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed retiring Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey's (D-Wis.) proposed year-long Continuing Resolution funding the federal government. Peter C. Groff, president and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the following statement in reaction:
"The current fiscal environment has created budget challenges for all branches of the federal government. The nation is grappling with the impact of a record-high budget deficit and a slowly recovering economy. It is, therefore, understandable that funding increases were not enacted for many programs, including the public charter school programs. Nonetheless, it is disappointing that the Continuing Resolution does not include language giving the U.S. Department of Education flexibility to use $125 million in charter school funding for existing facility aid programs, or for replicating and expanding high-quality charter models. This limitation is only amplified by the fiscal environment, begging the question: What opposition is there to growing good schools? Empowering the U.S. Department of Education to effectively use its funding is critical for the growth of the sector. More than 420,000 children are hoping for an additional seat at a public charter school, and the best charter schools are routinely faced with a greater demand than available capacity. Additionally, public charter schools only receive 78 cents on the dollar compared to traditional public schools within the same district. As the Continuing Resolution moves to the U.S. Senate, there is still an opportunity -- without increasing the deficit or even the top-line amount of funding for these programs -- to enable an increased percentage of funding to meet the needs of the sector.
"As the bill moves forward, and the appropriations process plays out for fiscal year 2011, I hope the Senate takes steps to ensure the funding it does allocate to the programs accurately meets the needs of the sectors being served by those programs. For the charter school programs, it is ensuring $125 million out of the total appropriations for the charter programs can be spent on replicating and expanding our best charter models, as well as on facility-related assistance."
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (http://www.publiccharters.org) is the national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. The Alliance works to increase the number of high-performing charter schools available to all families, particularly low-income and minority families who currently do not have access to quality public schools. The Alliance provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement. More than 1.6 million students attend nearly 5,000 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
SOURCE National Alliance for Public Charter Schools