Biden’s new school rules are a mistake

Unfortunately, it seems that President Joe Biden’s administration intends to ignore this warning sign – and instead turn to teachers’ unions and school district principals.

Despite the education of 7% of all public school students, charter schools account for less than 1% of total federal spending on K-12 education. In a recent spending bill, Congress has allocated $ 440 million to the federal charter-school program – the same level it has been in the past four years, during which enrollment in a school-charter increased by 13%.

The Biden administration is likely to close this gap. The Department of Education recently proposed rules that would require charter school operators to conduct a “community impact analysis” before qualifying for federal funds. Charts will only be eligible if they can prove that they operate in communities where there is “unmet demand”, meaning that existing public schools are over-enrolled and cannot accommodate all students in the community.

In other words, charter school operators will be barred from receiving federal support if they open in areas where there is a decline in enrollment in public schools – the same communities where, after two years of disrupted learning, public school dissatisfaction is boiling over. In fact, the Biden program will prevent the opening of charters in low-income districts where students desperately need better options. This could leave tens of millions of dollars in Congress unused.

This is a blatantly wrong policy. But it happens to reflect the views of powerful teachers’ unions, which mistakenly claim that charters drain money from public schools that are not funded (and unionized). In fact, the evidence suggests that the arts are helping to improve existing public schools. The presence of quality competition also raises academic achievement in nearby schools and also causes an increase in overall public spending per student. Contrary to the claims of their opponents, moreover, wage schools contribute en masse to black, Latino and low-income students.

At the very least, the administration should abolish the requirement that charter schools demonstrate “unsatisfied demand” on the basis of enrolling in traditional schools in order to receive federal funds. If the government wants to determine if there is enough demand for new schools in a given community, it should instead look at waiting lists for existing charters and seat availability in quality neighborhood schools – rather than low-performing schools. In allocating federal dollars to charters, priority should be given to charter school networks with a proven track record in underprivileged areas and to raising achievement among poor and minority students.

Charter schools cannot fix all the problems facing the U.S. public education system, but they are a lifeline for millions of students trapped in failed schools or at risk of dropping out – children who could face a lifetime of lower wages, higher unemployment, Reduced life expectancy and a higher probability of ending up in jail.Biden needs to show he’s on their side.

Other Bloomberg opinion writers:

Colleges Should Be Grateful For Zoom School Claims: Stephen L. Carter

Can Educational Migration Save the World ?: Tyler Town

Why ‘Unreliable’ Students Choose Funding ?: Tyler Town

The editors are members of Bloomberg’s opinion system.

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