NC Charter Chatter: July 30, 2021
Yesterday, H.R. 4502--the bill threatening federal funding for public charter schools--went to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The House passed the bill on a straight party-line vote. The fight for fair funding for public charter schools now moves to the U.S. Senate.
We have an update for you below.
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U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 4502
Language threatening federal funding for charter schools remains intact
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 4502, legislation threatening federal funding for public charter schools.

H.R. 4502 includes a $40 million cut to the federal Charter Schools Program, as well as language (in Section 314) that stipulates:

"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."

Read a blog post from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools to learn more about potential impacts from this bill.

H.R. 4502 passed yesterday along a straight party-line vote. Here is a screenshot of the vote from the website of the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Click on the image to go to a larger view of the overall vote or to look up an individual vote.
We have more details for you below, from an email update sent out to state leaders earlier today from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

The Alliance wrote: 
"Yesterday, the full House voted to approve the bill that includes, among other spending bills, the bill from the subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The two amendments offered by Republicans during consideration by the Rules Committee to reverse the CSP cut and to remove the Section 314 language were not allowed to come to a vote on the House floor. In addition, the final bill included an amendment calling for more oversight of so-called for-profit charter schools. This amendment didn’t receive its own vote, but rather passed as part of a block of Democratic amendments.
... Our efforts now turn to the Senate, where we expect a better outcome. The Senate will not start with the House bill, but will instead craft its own education funding language. Given the 50-50 split in the Senate and our strong relationships with moderate Senate Democrats, we believe the Senate will propose CSP funding in line with President Biden’s request and will not include the contentious Section 314 language. From there, the Senate and House will reconcile their differences in conference and we will have to fight hard to ensure the expected Senate version prevails."
Action and next steps
Thank you to those of you who have reached out to your elected representatives in Congress to share your views on this legislation--or who have passed information along to educate members of your school community.

As you may know, the Coalition and the NC Association for Public Charter Schools both signed on to a letter this week to leaders in Congress, calling for fair funding for all public school students. Some 70 organizations nationwide signed on to this letter, spearheaded by the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Find the statement from Patricia Leveque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, here.

The Senate is not expected to take this issue up until after Labor Day, according to the Alliance. We will keep you posted as events warrant, and will also let you know if that timeline changes. We intend to push back to ensure public charter schools are treated fairly. We know we have work ahead of us and we will all need to make our voices heard!