Last week, President Joe Biden gave his second State of the Union address. During the speech, he addressed issues related to education, including pre-K, teacher salaries, mental health, and opportunities for students.
Charter schools are an important part of the public education community. We support all teachers, students, and leaders in public schools and believe we can work together for the good of all. We think if President Biden visited charter schools, he might get a few good ideas too.
Here are four aspirational quotes from President Biden’s State of the Union address—and how charter schools are already working to achieve these dreams:
“If you want to have the best-educated workforce, let’s finish the job by providing access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.”
Charter schools are early adopters when it comes to securing free education options for early childhood education and advocating for expanded pre-K options. Mr. President, if you need to see a great pre-K program in action, go to Ingenuity Prep or one of the many AppleTree schools in Washington, DC.
Last year the National Alliance took steps to connect these current and aspiring practitioners with the Early Childhood Education Community of Practice, a community of experts in charter schools currently proving or interested in learning more about early childhood education. The community of practice is even in the process of launching a self-paced course to help establish and improve early childhood education at charter schools.
“Let’s give public school teachers a raise.”
Teachers make up the backbone of the charter school movement—like these four in Delaware who believe charter schools are best for them. Or the two charter school teachers honored with the 2022 Teacher of the Year Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers. Many of our schools are even founded by former teachers looking for a little something different in education, like these two educators-turned-charter school founders from New Mexico.
Public school teachers go above and beyond for their students every day and those who choose to teach at a charter school do so because they have the freedom to meet students where they are. We believe all teachers deserve great pay and recognition for their work.
You want to talk about money? Just listen to this teacher’s story of how her charter school expanded reimbursement offerings just because she asked.
“Let’s finish the job and connect students to career opportunities starting in high school.”
While charter schools are well-known for sending their students to college at higher-than-average rates, the flexible model lends to other opportunities as well. One example is in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) path that connects students to career opportunities starting in high school. If you’re looking for examples, why not visit these five charter schools ahead of the curve when it comes to offering vocational training to students.
“Let’s do more on mental health, especially for our children.”
The pandemic was a traumatic time for all students, but especially our most vulnerable. And, considering students who experienced trauma are more likely to be students of color and more likely to come from low-income backgrounds, that includes many students attending charter schools. Charter schools are committed to helping students heal and providing mental health supports for students.
The National Alliance convenes the Trauma-Informed Educators Community of Practice to learn, support, share, and create trauma-informed educational practices and models that all K-12 schools can implement. The community of practice is open to practitioners at any type of public school and offers quarterly webinars to educate on trauma-informed practices.
“Let’s finish the job.”
Mr. President, we see you looking out for students and educators. We appreciate and support your hopes for education. We just hope you’ll come see students in action at even just one of the many unique public charter schools across America making your dreams for public education a reality!
Melinda Tolliver is the director of digital strategy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
Ready to take the next step? Take one minute to tell your Members of Congress to grow charter school funding.