Bennet, Scott, Feinstein Send Bipartisan Letter Urging the Department of Education to Protect Charter Schools

Senators Express Concern Over Proposed Rule That Would Jeopardize Charter Schools, Limit Education Options

Denver – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and a group of their colleagues wrote to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona expressing their concerns about a proposed rule from the Department of Education that would jeopardize charter schools and limit families’ education options.

“During the 2020-2021 academic year, nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in charter schools, representing a seven percent growth as compared to the previous academic year,” wrote Bennet and the senators. “This clearly demonstrates how critical the [Charter Schools Program] is, as it is the only federal program dedicated to supporting the creation of new public charter schools, replicating high-quality public charter schools, and disseminating information about effective practices within charter schools. CSP was designed to provide critical resources to expand access to high-quality charter schools, but these proposed regulations could restrict access to new high-quality public charter schools. As such, we are concerned that the NPP does not prioritize the needs of students and limits high quality choices to certain families.”

The majority of federal funding for charter schools comes from the 28-year-old, bipartisan federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). Despite a 7% increase in charter school enrollment throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, the Department of Education recently proposed a rule that would impose burdensome new requirements on charter schools, making it difficult — if not impossible — for many schools to receive funding.

In addition to Bennet, Scott, and Feinstein, this letter was signed by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

The full text of the letter is available HERE.