Biden Takes Aim at School Choice – ACLJ Files Formal Public Comment To Fight Back for Every Parent and Every Child

By 

Jordan Sekulow

|
April 14

4 min read

School Choice

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President Biden is taking aim at school choice.

The Biden Administration has just proposed a new rule that would be crushing to school choice efforts nationwide, putting up obtrusive roadblocks for new charter schools. The goal is to force federally controlled public education on every family in America – even if it means your kids suffer.

The Biden Department of Education just proposed this new rule about charter schools on March 13, 2022, setting an extremely short comment period. The Administration hoped it could slip the anti-school choice rule through without notice. We noticed.

The reality is the Biden Administration knows that the rule will hurt the 7,451 charter schools in the country.  It does not care.  It tried to sneak this new rule into law.  It put the rule into the Federal Register for Notice and Comment with a short period of 30 days.  (Normally, the Notice period is 60 days.)  The ACLJ found out about the rule and drafted a comment in opposition.  We just submitted our Comment in Opposition, before the deadline. Your voice is being heard.

To help promote, run and fund charter schools, Congress created the Charter School Program in 20 U.S.C. § 7221 in 2015.  The newly proposed rule does not help charter schools at all. In fact, it makes it harder for them to get started or to stay in existence. That’s the whole point of this rule.

For example, the new rule requires “collaboration” with a traditional public school or school district.  This condition of “collaboration” with public schools, and other new conditions it would impose, will actually hinder charter schools.  Many school districts will block charter schools when they can, or they will make it harder to start a charter school.

In our official public comment, we say:

Neither collaboration nor traditional public schools are mentioned in the “basis” for the awarding of grants. As the requirement of collaboration gives the public school or school district a de facto veto over charter schools, this Proposed Rule not only exceeds the authority granted by Congress, but it also violates the clear text of the ESEA. Congress did not intend collaboration to be a requirement to receive a Charter School Program grant. The Secretary [of Education] lacks the authority to change the express will of Congress.

The American ideal of opportunity for all is under attack in this new proposed rule.  A charter school is a type of public school that answers to parents and has built-in flexibility and controls to teach more effectively. They teach many underprivileged children of all socioeconomic backgrounds and races.  In the 2019-2020 school year, their student body was 4.5% Asian, 22.5% Black, 30.9% Hispanic, and 36% White.

Importantly, students in charter schools show more improvement over time than students in regular public schools.  This is most true for students of color and students of low socioeconomic status.  To put it bluntly, a charter school provides a good education and this makes the American dream possible for the disadvantaged.

Congress has done a good thing by helping these students served by charter schools to get a better education.  It opens the American dream to these kids, and the ACLJ is fighting to keep America the land of opportunity for all.

At the ACLJ, we believe that EVERY American family deserves access to school choice – private schools, religious schools, home schooling, charter schools, and public schools. When parents and families are given a choice in education, kids succeed. When the federal bureaucracy, beholden to teachers unions, controls education, kids fail.

Let us be clear: President Biden's federal takeover of educational options should FAIL – NOT OUR KIDS.

We're engaged nationwide with state legislation, helping individual families facing educational challenges, and in court when necessary, to protect parents’ constitutional right to direct the education of their children. As we fight to defend school choice, take action with us.