Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Edweek reports that John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House education committee, and Rep. George Miller, the top Democrat on the panel, will introduce a bipartisan charter school bill in the coming days or weeks. Apparently, the bill largely mirrors one that the House passed in 2011, which would have allowed charters to access federal funds to replicate successful charters, and included additional facility funds. That bill did not make it through the Senate.
This new forthcoming bill's only significant shift from the prior bill is to place greater emphasis on funding charter management organizations, as opposed to individual charter operators. The obvious upside is to reduce the risk in funding untested start-ups. On the other hand, preferencing management organizations raises the question of whether this change is a response to an organized lobby rather than some actual data driven findings. Funding organizations also potentially adds administrative expense onto the education process, unless the organizations' efficiencies offset the administrative costs.