Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s preview of finalized Notice of Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria (NPP) for three components of the Charter Schools Program (CSP):
“A preview of the long-anticipated final rules for the administration of the Charter Schools Program and grant competition announcements were released today by the U.S. Department of Education. The more than 300-page document will require careful analysis to determine its full impact. However, there is early evidence that the final rules are indeed less harmful than the original proposal.
“When the Department proposed rules in March, there was an immediate and national response from parents, students, teachers, school leaders, and education advocates – including governors, attorneys general, and U.S. Senators. It is clear our collective voices were heard and some of the most troubling aspects of the proposed rules that relate to community impact analysis, diverse charter schools, and the burdensome nature of the application process itself are improved.
“While we appreciate the time the Department spent reviewing thousands of comments, we are dismayed at the short timeframe now provided for grant applications. This 30-day window will not allow adequate time for many applicants to respond to a typical CSP competition, in addition to the new requirements released today.”
Note to media: It is too early to issue a comprehensive response, as it will take time to carefully review every page of the final rule. The National Alliance will release an updated statement next week when the Department publishes the final rules in the Federal Register.