Home News President Biden appears to snub charter schools on national celebration week

President Biden appears to snub charter schools on national celebration week

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President Biden is apparently ignoring the contributions of charter schools in educating students — during National Charter Schools Week.

Biden either refused — or forgot — to issue a proclamation to recognize National Charter Schools week, which runs this week from May 9-15.

The charter school sector is celebrating 30 years of existence and the snub did not go unnoticed.

When Biden was vice president, then-President Barack Obama issued proclamations for eight consecutive years praising the contributions of “high quality public charter schools.”

Obama and his then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan even made expansion of charter schools part of the criteria for federal funding.

Obama’s successor and Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, also issued four years of proclamations championing charter schools and the school choice movement.

“We’re celebrating 30 years of these awesome public schools in America this year. You are correct in that the White House has not issued a proclamation for this week,” said Jennifer Diaz, spokeswoman for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

“We are disappointed for sure, and remain hopeful that the Biden Administration’s pledge to unite the country includes strong support for all public schools, both charter and district. We hope to see a proclamation next year from the White House.”

North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx, the ranking Republian on the House Education and Labor Committee, ripped Biden’s snub because presidents from both political parties have supported charter schools since laws creating the alternative privately managed, publicly funded schools came into existence in the 1990s under Bill Clinton.

“Since that first law was passed, every president has issued a proclamation in support of National Charter Schools Week. After decades of bipartisan support, it is heartbreaking to see a President so brazenly ignore the 3.3 million students using their educational freedom to succeed in a public charter school and the millions more who desperately want that same opportunity,” Foxx said.

“Nothing short of total support for charter schools, which are crucial to helping low-income students get a high-quality education, is acceptable.”

Duncan visited charter schools in the city and urged passage of state laws to raise the charter school cap.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx ripped Biden’s snub on charter schools.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton received the lifetime achievement from the National Alliance for Charter Schools in 2011 for launching a federal program to develop and support charter schools and he urged the New York legislature to open more of them.

Charter schools typically have a longer school day and year and its students often outperform neighboring traditional public schools in New York on the state’s standardized English and math exams. The school staffers are mostly non-union and are exempt from many state and union contract rules.

Biden’s silence on charter schools could send a signal to state Democratic lawmakers in New York that it’s Ok to block the expansion of the alternative schools.

Critics, including the teachers’ union, argue charter schools divert resources from traditional public schools and oppose lifting the state cap on charter schools in New York City. Lawmakers parroting the union line have refused to raise the cap the past two years — leaving operators of a dozen proposed charter schools that received preliminary state approval in the lurch.

But a poll released last month found that 70 percent of New York City Democrats support lifting the state cap and allowing new charter schools to open throughout the Big Apple.

The Post previously reported that the Biden administration has been cozy with the powerful anti-charter teachers’ union. The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the White House and the Centers Diseases for input on guidance for school re-openings during the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House had no immediate comment.

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