As the nation slowly and safely navigates out of the pandemic, the focus remains on helping American families recoup what was lost during the last 14 months—and spurring prosperity and success. Education must be a top priority to fulfill this promise as our leaders in federal, state, and local governments make important decisions that affect our students’ futures.
The American Families Plan and Education
In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden laid out his vision for the country. The proposed $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, along with the American Jobs Plan, proposes dramatic investments in social programs including:
Expanded public education to include two years of pre-K and community college
An increase in the maximum Pell grant
Increased support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs)
Childcare subsidies and expanded school meal programs
A new paid leave plan
Charter Schools Lead the Way
It would be easy to pour money into systems and structures that haven’t worked for many students. Instead, we must encourage leaders to lift programs, schools, and teachers that put students and their learning needs first.
Student-centered public charter schools are one of the solutions. Nina Rees, president & CEO of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, says of charter schools, “They have the ability to inspire and serve students with varying needs, interests, and aspirations. They encourage parents and communities to take greater ownership of their children’s education.”
So’Nya Jordan is a 2020 graduate of LEAD Charter School in Newark, New Jersey. She was bullied and harassed at her traditional public high school. She felt alone and lost. So’Nya found support and a second chance at LEAD. She says, “Every student deserves a school community that wants to see them succeed. A place that supports your mental health, your social-emotional health and gives you the tools you need to be the best version of yourself.” Read her powerful story of hope, opportunity and success through adversity in The 74.
Celebrate Charter Schools’ Contributions
Join us as we showcase charter schools’ contributions to the future of public education during National Charter Schools Week 2021, May 9-15. Use the social toolkit and turnkey press materials to spread the word about the 30th anniversary of charter schools in America and how our community is shaping the future of public education.
Jennifer Diaz is the vice president of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools