Washington Post, Analysis by Valerie Strauss, July 5, 2022
The Biden administration is moving to overhaul the federal Charter School Program with new rules finalized last week that make it harder for for-profit organizations to win taxpayer money and require greater transparency and accountability for grant applicants. The program has awarded billions of dollars in grants over the past several decades for the expansion or opening of charters, which are publicly funded but privately operated, often with little or no public oversight. President Biden said during the 2020 election campaign that he wanted to end federal funding for for-profit charter schools, but the final regulations don’t go that far. Charter school supporters strongly objected to a draft set of rules released earlier this year, saying they seemed intended to kill the program outright, which the Education Department denied. Nina Rees, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said in a statement that the final regulations appear to be “less harmful than the original proposal,” but added that more analysis of the details was needed. Critics of the federal Charter School Program said both the draft set of regulation changes and the final versions were important moves to stop waste and fraud in the federal program and provide more transparency to the operation of charters.
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