Drinks on Publius! U.S. Congress approves Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10)

House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Support Charter Schools

The House of Representatives today approved the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10) with overwhelming bipartisan support in a vote of 360 to 45. Sponsored by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Senior Democratic Member George Miller (D-CA), the legislation would support state efforts to start, expand, and replicate successful charter schools.

H.R.10 – Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act 113th Congress (2013-2014)

Shown Here:Reported to House amended (04/29/2014)

Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act – (Sec. 4) Revises subpart 1 (Charter School Program) of part B (Public Charter Schools) of title V (Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

(Sec. 5) Replaces the current charter school grant program with a program awarding grants to state entities (state educational agencies, state charter school boards, Governors, or charter school support organizations) and, through them, subgrants to charter school developers to open new charter schools and expand and replicate high-quality charter schools.

Requires grantees to: (1) use 7% of the grant funds to provide technical assistance to subgrantees and authorized public chartering agencies, and (2) work with those agencies to improve the charter school authorization process.

Limits the duration of charter school grants and subgrants to no more than five years. Gives subgrantees no more than 18 months to plan and design their programs.

Limits grantees to no more than one grant over a five-year period. Limits subgrantees to no more than one subgrant per charter school over a five-year period, unless the subgrantee demonstrates at least three years of improved educational results for students enrolled in the applicable charter school.

Requires the Secretary of Education and each grantee to use a peer review process to review applications for charter school grants and subgrants.

Requires grantees to award subgrants in a manner that ensures, to the extent possible, that subgrants are distributed to different areas and assist charter schools representing a variety of educational approaches.

Permits the Secretary to waive certain statutory or regulatory requirements if the waiver is requested by a grant applicant and promotes the purpose of the Charter School program without tampering with what is definitionally required of charter schools.

Directs the Secretary to give priority to grant applicants to the extent that they are from states that:

  • have a quality authorized public chartering agency that is not a local educational agency (LEA), if the state allows entities other than LEAs to be authorized public chartering agencies;

  • do not impose any limitation on the number or percentage of charter schools that may exist or the number or percentage of students that may attend charter schools;

  • ensure equitable financing, as compared to traditional public schools, for charter schools and students in a prompt manner; and

  • use charter schools and best practices from charter schools to help improve struggling schools and LEAs.

Directs the Secretary to give priority to grant applicants also to the extent that they:

  • partner with an organization experienced in developing management organizations to support charter school development,

  • support charter schools that support at-risk students,

  • authorize all their charter schools to serve as school food authorities, and

  • take steps to ensure that all authorizing public chartering agencies implement best practices for charter school authorizing.

(Sec. 6) Subsumes subpart 2 (Credit Enhancement Initiatives to Assist Charter School Facility Acquisition, Construction, and Renovation) of part B of title V under subpart 1. (Under subpart 2, the Secretary awards grants to public entities and private nonprofit entities to demonstrate innovative means of enhancing credit to finance the acquisition, construction, or renovation of charter schools.)

Requires the Secretary to award credit enhancement grants to applicants that have the highest-quality applications after considering the diversity of such applications. (Currently, the Secretary is required to award at least three grants, including at least one to a public entity, one to a private nonprofit entity, and one to a consortium of such entities, provided an application from each merits approval.)

Prohibits grant recipients from using more than 2.5% (currently, 0.25%) of their grant for administrative costs.

Revises the per-pupil facilities aid program (under which the Secretary makes competitive matching grants to states to provide per-pupil financing to charter schools) to allow states to: (1) partner with organizations to provide up to 50% of the state share of funding for the program; and (2) receive more than one program grant, so long as the amount of the grant funds provided to charter schools increases with each successive grant.

Allows states that are required by state law to provide charter schools with access to adequate facility space to qualify for a grant under the program even if they do not have a per-pupil facilities aid program for charter schools specified in state law, provided they agree to use the funds to develop such a program.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Secretary to conduct national activities that include:

  • providing state entities with technical assistance in awarding subgrants to charter school developers;

  • providing technical assistance to grantees under the credit enhancement and per-pupil facilities aid programs;

  • disseminating best practices;

  • evaluating the charter school program’s impact, including its impact on student achievement; and

  • awarding competitive grants directly to charter school developers (in states that have not applied for or received a charter school grant) and to charter management organizations to open, replicate, and expand charter schools.

(Sec. 8) Requires states and LEAs to ensure that a student’s records are transferred as quickly as possible to a charter school or another public school when the student transfers from one such school to the other.

(Sec. 9) Allows charter schools to serve prekindergarten or postsecondary school students.

Defines a “charter management organization” as a nonprofit organization that manages a network of charter schools linked by centralized support, operations, and oversight.

(Sec. 10) Reauthorizes appropriations under subpart 1 through FY2020.

Directs the Secretary to use: (1) 12.5% of such funding for credit enhancement grants and the per-pupil facilities aid program, (2) up to 10% of such funding for the Secretary’s national activities, and (3) the remaining funds for the charter school grant program.

20 responses to “Drinks on Publius! U.S. Congress approves Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10)

  1. you forgot
    (sec 11) Charter schools take over the country, push public schools completely out, and little common core robots say yes sir and no sir for the rest of their lives but they can’t figure how to balance a checkbook because common core never taught them that

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  2. Yes charter schools stink. They are voluntary, don’t cost as much and if they fail due to poor management, close.

    In contrast our public school system:
    http://www.gopusa.com/news/2014/05/08/public-schools-fail/
    and perpetuate indefinitely with no correction, no improvement, and no accountability like a celestial money black hole. Just keep spending, it “might” get better someday, when your kids are out of the system and its of no use to you.

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    • John Young

      yep, when it’s of no use to you. Thanks for proving what we all already know about you.

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    • Pencadermom

      How horrible for Ryder to be responsible for his/her own children and expect others to do the same. If by some mysterious blessing from the education Gods above, our public school system becomes unbroken, it will most likely be when Ryders kids and mine and yours have already graduated.. and will be of no use to us personally, in educating our own kids. At least that’s how I read the comment. 🙂

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    • John Young

      Yes PM, it is horrible. When people whose kids are through the system, to just turn tail and declare it’s no longer of any use to them is the beginning of the end of public education. We all benefit from public education. Those that can’t see that or who are so myopic as to only concern themselves with just their kids…well, I feel sorry for them, and all of us for that matter.

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    • @mr. Young
      Showing your arrogance and ignorance on the matter once again. A school system which ignores the obvious and scapegoats the alternatives is both dysfunctional and oblivious.

      You know nothing and certainly nothing about me. Your racist accusations in other posts and denigrating attitude should be telling to all those with half a brain. The 300 votes you’ll get will put you back on the board and Christina residents will still have a district that cannot figure out why there is a brain drain going on. The district “deserves” a safe, community focused, high academic standard district. Instead we have a disjointed, DSEA centric, redistributive malaise. Yeah,…that’s the charter schools fault. Those elitist, racist, resource stealing parents who keep having to wait for improvement are to blame.

      What’s horrible John is that for all the bluster about trying to improve the educational system, it just isn’t happening. The system is criminally ignoring the children’s education and placating pink haired girls and the DSEA. The staff aren’t to blame, it’s the nature of a system that can’t get out of it’s own way. You advocate for education, that’s great but if I or any other family has to continue to wait for an improvement that never comes, who’s more myopic?

      You (and the district) can’t guarantee my kids’ education. If I don’t make it happen for them who should I blame? You must know since you’re good at blaming.

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    • Publius e decere

      M Ryder: I think you’ve nailed it. Carry on!

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  3. I’m thinking home schooling is looking a lot better everyday….

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    • Pencadermom

      Agreed.. If my kids were little and I knew then what I know now. I know home schooling is on the rise. And also ‘unschooling’ if you’ve heard that term yet. 🙂

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    • Publius e decere

      “Schooling” — where is LDC to explain it?

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    • Pencadermom

      Where is LDC? I’m getting worried.

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    • Home schooling only works in geography and spelling bees. Unless you guys are whizzes at calculus, algebra II, chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, etc. Um… thought not (me either!). So let’s put the home schooling option where it belongs for 99% of home schooled kids… in the trash heap of philosophy, communication and business majors. Ouch! I’m not feeling gracious today. Sorry.

      Personally, I LOVE the home schooled population. Less competition. 🙂 Kidding, but… um… not really.

      If you really want to know how your child will fare educationally… look in a mirror. So very true. Wanna change that? Charters aren’t the answer. The first step is to acknowledge your advantages (and work them) and your disadvantages (correct them). However, if your solution consists of simply filling out a choice application and then bragging about how awesome you are for getting in… you’re in trouble. I have a son in college on a 4 year engineering scholarship and a high school junior (who’s already being recruited by colleges with offers of big $$$) so if you want my advice email me at pandora@delawareliberal.net I have lived this – some might say, I’ve been obsessed with this. Seriously, it’s not difficult (just time consuming), but if your plan consists of merely enrolling your child in a desired school… you’re in big trouble. Reach out to Joanne Christian, as well. She knows her stuff. (Sorry for volunteering you, Joanne!)

      I’m not trying to be harsh, but go look at where most of the CSW kids end up. Most aren’t rockin’ it when it comes to college selection. Basically, if you think getting your child into a charter school is an educational silver bullet… you’re in for a rude (and expensive) college awakening.

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    • Pencadermom

      ” if your solution consists of simply filling out a choice application and then bragging about how awesome you are for getting in” – where is anyone bragging about being awesome for getting into a charter school?

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  4. Eve Buckley

    An article in today’s UD Review (student newspaper), by a Glasgow HS grad, suggests why expanding charter schools is premature. We haven’t yet figured out, as a country, how to ensure that they function as genuinely public schools:

    http://udreview.com/2014/05/12/with-emergence-of-charter-schools-data-points-out-resegregation-in-state-schools/

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  5. John Young

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    • Pencadermom

      I got a robo call from your opponent

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    • John Young

      Cool

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    • Pencadermom

      you’re a smart alec. Anyway, would he have paid for that himself? How did they get my number? I didn’t vote for him anyway. I’m guessing he’s a gun nut. Did you win?

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    • Pencadermom

      didn’t see Kilroys latest post.. The only place I hear any education news. Congratulations John. You might not believe it but I have respect for your values and what you do. Just do all the kids who depend on you to do the right thing a favor and never ever ever post their tweets, twits, social media comments, whatever the hell you call it, ever again.

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