Today, the White House released its proposed FY 2018 budget, which includes a $158 million increase for charter schools over FY 2017 funding. National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees has released the following statement:
“The National Alliance supports the Administration’s investment in opening, expanding, and replicating high-quality charter public schools.The proposed $158 million increase for the Charter Schools Program (CSP) contained in the Administration’s FY 2018 budget would provide critical funding to seed new charter public schools and expand choice for families and students seeking alternatives to district schools.
“However, we are concerned that the proposed budget doesn’t maintain final FY 2017 funding levels for IDEA and reduces Title I Part A formula funds.*Both IDEA and Title I are foundational programs for some of our most vulnerable students. We are dismayed by the deep cuts proposed to other programs within and beyond the Department of Education.The proposed $54 billion in overall cuts to non-defense discretionary spending over $9 billion coming from the Department of Education alone would have long-lasting, far-reaching negative consequences for children, families, communities, and our country as a whole.
“While we appreciate and welcome the Administration’s commitment to charter public schools and the public school students they serve, we urge the Administration and Members of Congress to consider all the ways the federal budget impacts public school students, both district and charter school students. We call on Congress to raise the budget caps on non-defense discretionary spending to avoid lasting negative impact to our children and the future of our nation.”
*Title I Part A is reduced by eliminating funding of the former School Improvement Grants (SIG) Program, which ESSA intended be added to Title I Part A to support school improvement efforts.