WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2022)—Education Reform Now National President Shavar Jeffries issued the following statement in response to comments made by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on proposed regulations to public charter schools:
“While we are pleased by Sec. Cardona’s stated support today for all high-quality schools, including public charter schools, and his interest in fostering innovation, we urge him to revisit the recent proposed regulations for public charter schools which threaten both.
Secretary Cardona stated that the proposed rules seek to ensure there is real demand for public charter schools, but the proposed rules make no mention of measuring a community’s interest in innovative, high-quality public school options. The fact that there has been widespread misunderstanding underscores that the regulations are not clear in how they will continue to support innovation and equity for public charter schools. For instance, the regulations require charters to partner with districts, but leave it to the discretion of districts to cooperate. And while implementing requirements for a diverse student and staff in theory is positive, it disregards the realities of a school’s location or it’s community’s preferences and dismisses the value of culturally affirming schools.
We agree that accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility are all important and reasonable provisions, yet they must be detailed in a way that supports investments in high-quality public charter schools, rather than creates bureaucratic barriers to funding.
If the regulations truly are meant to support all high-quality public schools, then advocates representing the entire public school system–including public charter schools–should be involved in their drafting.
There is still time to bring everyone to the table. Let’s work together to ensure regulations for public charter schools will truly advance equity and innovation and ensure every child has access to a high-quality public school.”