New resources to help with advocacy:
- Talking points about HB 219’s local funding provisions
- Infographic on HB 219
- A template letter or email you can send to your House representative or Senate member
Funding equity is coming to Missouri charter schools. Currently, the state still has quite a small charter movement–just 26,000 students. Charter schools operate just in St. Louis and Kansas City. Yet, the state’s charter movement has faced funding challenges similar to other states. That is beginning to change: At the end of June, Governor Mike Parsons signed HB 1552, introducing funding equity for Missouri charter schools.
Dean Johnson, the president of the Quality Schools Coalition, writes about the path to victory in today’s issue of the Charter Folk newsletter. Before the law, charter students’ funding lagged district students’ funding by 20-30%, Johnson writes. Inequities arose from local funding disparities; the law fixes that “glitch” in the funding formula. Now, HB 1552 will increase charter funding by $62 million a year. The law takes effect this school year, on August 28.
Johnson attributes the victory to several factors, including groups coalescing around one “consensus priority,” engaging with others across the aisle, and investing for the duration. (The law’s passage took three years to accomplish.) He also credits the power of parent advocacy. Here’s what he writes about that:
In 2019 parents were advocating, but the overall effort was nascent. Legislators would tell us, “I just don’t hear from charter school parents. But I sure hear from charter opponents.” But on the last day of the 2022 legislative session, after funding equity was headed to the governor’s desk, a legislator said to me as we passed in the hall, “Can you please have the charter school parents stop calling me now?”
See Johnson’s full column on Charter Folk’s site.
Read more about HB 1552 in the Missouri Independent.
View the statement from the Missouri Charter Public Schools Association.
A key objective for the Coalition is achieving funding equity for North Carolina charter schools. How do we do that? We work to remedy existing inequities within per pupil local funding as well as state-level grants that have omitted access for charter schools. Learn more about our legislative goals here.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution honoring and celebrating public charter schools. The resolution follows National Charter Schools Week, which took place May 9-15 amidst celebrations and recognitions.
The Senate resolution congratulates the “students, families, teachers, leaders, and staff of public charter schools across the United States” for their contributions to public education. It notes the “impressive strides” charter schools have made in closing the achievement gap. In addition, the resolution recognizes that charter schools have helped to improve and strengthen the U.S. public school system.
Read a blog post about the resolution from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools here. As the Alliance notes, the resolution was sponsored by Senator Tim Scott, R-SC, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers:
Read the full U.S. Senate resolution here.
Charter supporters had a big win yesterday!
Yesterday, House Republicans decided not to move an amendment forward that would have stripped Part II from House Bill 729 – Charter Schools Omnibus. That section of the bill allows a county commission to give funding to a charter school for facility use.
Prior to the vote, the Coalition rallied charter leaders and supporters, urging them to contact their representatives. The Coalition asked them to urge lawmakers to support H 729 as written. We suggested the following talking points:
Thanks to the efforts of charter school supporters, the bill stays alive with Part II and moves to the Senate!
First, a recap:
Governor Cooper signed HB 82, now Session Law 2021-7, on April 9. The law requires school districts to develop learning recovery programs for Summer 2021. But, what does the law require of charters?
Here’s the bottom line:
Guidance from the State Board of Education:
H 335 – Timely Local Payments to Charter Schools has made crossover and is now in the Senate. The bill passed the House with only two “no” votes, showing the effectiveness of what can happen when we work in conjunction with the NC School Boards Association. H 335 would revise requirements regarding LEA payments to charters to “incentivize the timely transfer of funds.”
*The crossover deadline this year is Thursday, May 13. To maintain eligibility for consideration for the rest of the 2021-22 legislative session, all bills must pass either the House or Senate chamber by this crossover deadline.
The Coalition is tracking S 654, K-12 COVID-19 Provisions. This bill addresses state statute regarding school performance grades, annual report cards, designations of low-performing schools, and remote learning, among other things. S 654 encompasses public school units, so its provisions apply to charters.
We are concerned that the bill restricts what charters are able to offer in terms of blended learning. We’re talking with school leaders and lawmakers, with the view of looking potentially at another vehicle for blended learning options.
H 163 Treasury Administrative Changes AB is an agency bill generated by the Treasurer’s office. Language in this bill would reduce duplication work for charters regarding audits. This bill passed the House and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee on April 15.