Today, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1177, more commonly referred to as the “Every Child Achieves Act” (ECAA), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In response, Greg Richmond, president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) issued the following statement:
“The bipartisan, common sense charter provisions contained within the ECAA demonstrate the Senate is committed to ensuring all American children—including the 1.6 million children attending charter schools—have the opportunity to attend a great school.
With hundreds of thousands of students dropping out of high school each year, the need for more quality schools throughout our country is clear. It is our obligation to serve these children by opening and expanding only the best schools and by making the tough decisions to close those that consistently fail to live up to their promises.
The bill maintains annual testing requirements and strengthens the Public Charter School Program with significant provisions that raise standards and strengthen accountability for quality charter school authorizing. In choosing these common sense provisions, both the Senate and the House have embraced a vision of smart charter school growth and rejected other extreme measures meant to halt charter growth in its tracks. Importantly, ECAA also maintains annual testing requirements, without the inclusion of optout provisions, to ensure we have meaningful information about the quality of our public schools.
We recognize Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and others for their leadership in promoting these bipartisan provisions and ensuring they were included over many years of debate.
We are looking forward to working with both parties during conference to ensure these important provisions continue to improve the lives of children across the country.
Contact: Kristen Forbriger 312-376-2327
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is committed to advancing excellence and accountability in the charter school sector and to increasing the number of high-quality charter schools across the nation. To accomplish this, NACSA works to improve the policies and practices of authorizers—the organizations designated to approve, monitor, renew, and, if necessary, close charter schools. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers. It also advocates for laws and policies that raise the bar for excellence among authorizers and the schools they charter. In late 2012, NACSA launched its One Million Lives campaign to give one million more children the opportunity to attend a great school.