Monday kicks off National Charter Schools Week, an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the 6,900 charter public schools across America that are changing the lives of more than 3 million students. This year’s event comes at a unique time for the charter school movement.
Since the first charter school law was passed in 1991, charter schools have garnered bipartisan support. Reform-minded Democrats and Republicans alike have agreed on the goal of creating high-quality, public school options for students. The success of charter schools in urban and rural areas and among chronically underserved students has made it possible to finally start delivering on the dream of giving every student an education that puts them on the path to a better life. Every U.S. president since Bill Clinton has supported charter schools, as have thousands of Democrats, Republicans, and independents at the federal, state, and local levels.
Yet in the current charged political climate, some have questioned whether charter schools may become yet another polarizing policy issue. Support for charters from President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has kindled speculation that it will become harder for Democrats to show their support for charter schools. This shouldn’t be the case.
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