School privatizers go bonkers over Biden's charter school rules.
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When the Biden administration came out with their rules about funding charter schools, I was sure Fred Hess of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute was going to stroke out.
“This is nuts,” Hess wrote in what can only be described as a piece of hyperbolic hysteria.
It’s not like Biden’s Department of Education has outlawed charters, although you would think so by the outrage expressed by The Wall Street Journal.
What the DOE has done is tighten regulations, demand more accountability and limited financial support to for-profit charters.
Light sauce in my opinion.
Biden’s administration in reality is keeping funding to charter schools steady. There is no overall reduction in spending on charters.
The administration has simply added some new regs to start-ups.
I think what got Fred Hess upset (he is the Director of Education Policy at AEI) is a DOE reference to diversity in their requirements.
The new rules would require charter schools seeking CSP funds to prove that they’d be “racially and socio-economically diverse,” show that they wouldn’t step on the toes of local district schools, and agree to file a ream of documents anytime they deal with a for-profit contractor, which the U.S. Department of Education will define at whim.
Why is the phrase “racially and socio-economically diverse” put in quotes by Hess?
Because those are the only words that are actually in the DOE rules.
Everything else Hess makes up.
Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education writes in the Washington Post:
For the first time since the federal Charter Schools Program was established in 1994, the U.S. Department of Education is setting forth meaningful regulations for its grant applicants. While these proposed rules are aimed at ensuring greater transparency and control on how nearly a half-billion tax dollars are spent each year, charter supporters oppose them. We’ve also seen objections to reform — many of which I believe are misinformed — in op-eds, including those in the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the New York Post (though these don’t all mention the same concerns).
Burris then walks us through the truth and lies being written about the new and modest Biden rules.
Diane Ravitch also posts the Burris piece.
It is worth a read.