Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding the release of the $1.7 trillion year-end spending bill:
“The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools thanks Congressional leaders for finalizing the FY23 spending bill that includes $440 million for the critical Charter Schools Program (CSP) along with flexibility to direct more of the funds to meet facility needs. The CSP is the nation’s only source of dedicated federal funding for the creation of high-quality and in-demand public charter schools. While we are disappointed that this vital program is flat funded for the fourth year in a row, we are pleased to see increases for important programs leveraged by public charter schools such as Title I, IDEA, and Title III.
“These unique public schools overwhelmingly serve students who are Black, Brown, or from low-income families. Survey data from The Harris Poll shows 74% of parents would consider sending their child to a public charter school if one were available in their area. Since the beginning of the pandemic, charter schools gained approximately 240,000 students—a 7% increase. During the same time period, nearly 1.5 million students (3.5%) switched out of their district school, a clear indication that parents want choices beyond the schools their children are zoned to attend.
“Public charter schools are student-centered public schools that enroll more than 3.7 million students and overwhelmingly serve students of color. Given the strong support for charter schools from families, especially in Black and Brown communities, CSP funding helps to meet the growing demand and serve America’s students and families with high-quality education options.”
About the CSP
At its current funding level of $440 million, the CSP amounts to less than one percent of federal spending on K-12 education. Research has consistently shown that charter schools across the country still receive nearly 30 percent less per pupil per year in funding than neighboring district-run public schools. For more than 25 years, the CSP has provided states with resources to help ensure every child can access a high-quality public education. It is the backbone for both the public education system and the charter school movement, strengthening their efforts to provide more equitable opportunities for all students. Read the Federal Charter Schools Program: 2022 Impact Report.