Sununu Joins Other Governors in Opposing Proposed Charter School Rules | national news

(The Center Square) — Gov. Chris Sununu has joined other GOP governors calling on the Biden administration to rein in proposed rules they say will make it harder for charter schools to get federal funding.

In a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, Sununu and 17 other elected heads of state raised concerns about the proposed rules and called on the administration to suspend the regulations for at least a year to to allow more time for public input.

The governors wrote that proposed rules for the DOE’s charter school program “would make it more difficult, if not impossible, for independent and smaller charter schools to access federal funds.”

“We oppose any attempt by the federal government to act as a national charter school board, impose a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach, and undermine the authority of parents to choose the educational option best suited for their child. “, wrote the governors.

The new rules would require charter schools to demonstrate that local school districts are “over-enrolled” to be eligible for federal program funding and submit a “community impact analysis” showing “sufficient demand for the proposed project” and proof that it would serve the interests of students and host communities.

But the governors said it failed to take into account a parent’s “desire for their child to attend a school that meets their child’s unique needs” and would have a negative impact on disadvantaged young people.

“Across the country, charter schools enroll more students of color and more economically disadvantaged students than their traditional public school counterparts,” they said. “The requirements imposed in the proposed rule will put the department in a position to undermine the decision made by millions of families seeking a better chance for their child.”

Unlike traditional public schools, charters enjoy greater flexibility in curriculum, class size, and length of the day. They are free; as needed pending application, admission may be determined by lottery.

They are public schools and as such funded by the same pool of taxpayers’ money. This fueled opposition to their expansion. According to the governors, about 3.5 million American students attend charter schools.

The governors also pointed out that charters serve about 7% of all public school students nationwide, but account for less than 1% of federal education spending.

“Chartered principals are essential partners in providing high-quality options that deliver student outcomes and provide competition to improve academic achievement in neighboring schools,” they wrote.

The governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas have also signed with Sununu. Twenty-eight of the 50 states have Republican governors.

Martha K. Merrill