Charter schools: House Democrats call for cutting federal funding for charters

The National Alliance for Public Charters Schools is calling the cut “particularly egregious” and said that the move would impact a majority of 3.3 million charter school students, who are overwhelmingly children of color and from low-income families.

Charter schools, which are publicly funded but usually run independently from local school districts, had the support of the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations. But some Democrats have targeted charter schools in recent years, arguing that they take away money from other public school students. On the campaign trail last year, now-President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren opposed federal funds going to “for-profit charter schools.”

The vast majority of charter schools are nonprofit organizations, though some states allow for-profit companies to manage charter schools, making up 10% nationwide.

The Democrat-backed budget proposal shows how those campaign pledges may lead to legislation that would funnel money away
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What’s The Matter With For Profit Charter School Management?

The House Appropriations Committee has caused a stir with one tiny paragraph in its 198-page health, labor and education spending bill.

SEC. 314. None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be awarded to a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school.

The presence of for-profit operators in the charter school sector has long been a concern for critics, with almost all states outlawing a charter school strictly run for profit. But charter school operators have long worked a variety of loopholes, keeping the sector a highly profitable one, and most of those loopholes involve a non-profit charter school hiring a for-profit business.

We are not talking about contracting services like school buses or cafeteria management; these kinds of side functions are frequently contracted

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Provision in federal spending bill jeopardizes charter school funding

Andrew Lewis
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It is under these circumstances I am dismayed to learn of proposed federal funding cuts to public charter schools by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. The proposed cuts fly in the face of public policy that has been supported by every president since Bill Clinton.

The committee, under Democrat leadership, has proposed a $40 million reduction of the federal Charter Schools Program, a grant created under President Clinton. The committee is recommending these cuts even though President Joe Biden’s budget recommends no reductions. The committee is suggesting these cuts even as the public charter school sector continues to add more schools and students across the nation.

More alarmingly, the committee has included broad and sweeping language within the bill potentially barring “a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school” from receiving any federal funding. This language is

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New Mexico Selects the TeacherWallet Spending Management Platform to Distribute Funds to Help Transition Special Education Students Back into Regular Classroom Routine

MIAMI and SANTA FE, N.M., July 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The New Mexico Secretary of Education has awarded a contract to ClassWallet to implement its innovative TeacherWallet fintech spending management platform for teachers helping to transition special education students back into regular classroom routines for the 2021-22 school year.

TeacherWallet will enable the New Mexico Public Education Department to provide special education teachers with discretionary budgets to purchase products for their classrooms including classroom supplies and materials, fidget spinners and other behavioral aids and supplies, as necessary. The platform will allow school administrators to maintain strict accountability of expenditures and expedite the processing of reimbursements with minimal paperwork and maximum efficiency.

ClassWallet services were used previously by the New Mexico Public Education Department for other programs and state officials were impressed by the efficiency of its turnkey platform.

“TeacherWallet streamlines the process for educators to get the products they

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