Democrats Cut Funding to Charter Schools
Democrats this week advanced a bill to cut $40 million from the federal Charter Schools Program despite a 40% increase in the overall education budget.
“None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be awarded to a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee, or manage the activities of the school,” reads the proposal.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools condemned the bill, saying its language could make charter schools that rely on private vendors for services like food and Special Ed ineligible to receive federal funding.
“Charter school leaders would be forced to choose between accessing the federal funds their students are entitled to or working with businesses to provide the supplies and services their students need,” wrote the Alliance.
Charter schools are public schools and we should treat them the same. If Democrats don’t like private contractors, why not forbid them from working with any public school?
The answer is that Democrats dislike charter schools because they are outside the scope of their precious unions. Democrats have also claimed that charter schools worsen inequality in education when in fact they do the opposite. As noted by the Alliance, students of charter schools are “more likely to be Black and Brown and come from low-income communities.”
On top of that, students of charter schools almost always outperform their peers even though charter schools receive less money.
“Surely the real test of a charter – the test of any school – ought to be whether the students are learning, not whether there might somewhere be a profit,” argues The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board. “The Democratic funding raid on charters is an act of sabotage that will deny many children, especially poor and minority children, the quality of education they deserve.”
Another factor at play here is the coronavirus pandemic.
Traditional public schools kept their doors closed far longer than charter schools (in many cases at the behest of teachers); this produced an increased demand for charter schools and a decreased demand for traditional public schools.
Another reason Democrats hate charter schools is because charters put education back into the free market and under the power of local governments. Democrats seem to be pushing for centralized control of education. This is dangerous and we should not let this happen. This is why the Constitution left education to the states.