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U.S. House passes charter school legislation

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 5/09/2014

The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution (HR) 10 today in a 360-45 vote. Members considered 11 amendments to the bill and adopted eight, each with a significant number of members supporting passage. The bill, known as The Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, would consolidate two federal charter school programs and allocate $300 million in competitive grant funding for states to open, expand, house and replicate charter schools. The eight adopted amendments were authored by both Republicans and Democrats and received bipartisan support. Among those adopted was an amendment to ensure that the collection and public dissemination of certain information that assists parents in making informed decisions about education options for their children. Additional amendments adopted include:

  • Reporting requirements to ensure the sharing of best practices.
  • Reporting requirements on states' efforts to assist charter schools in fostering community involvement.
  • Requiring of the Secretary of Education to add comprehensive career counseling to the criteria considered when prioritizing grants to school districts.
  • Ensuring that no unnecessary barriers for foster youth in charter school enrollment, and the inclusion and retention of all students regardless of parent involvement.
The three rejected amendments were offered by Democrats. Those amendments would have increased charter school transparency at the benefit of taxpayers and parents. One of the rejected amendments was offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a representative from the Houston area. Her amendment would have required charter schools to publish publicly on their websites certain information including student recruitment, enrollment criteria, student discipline policies, behavior codes and parental contract requirements. The other two amendments would have developed conflict of interest guidelines for charter schools and required increased state oversight of charter school funds. The bill will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration. A group of bipartisan Senators released their own version of the bill, which is fairly similar, this week. Let us know your thoughts on this piece of legislation, and stay tuned to Teach the Vote for more information.


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