U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, without doubt the most unqualified person to ever hold this position, thinks charter schools are the solution to every ailment in education. So she is quick to hand out dollars to folks wanting to bring more charter schools on line. (This is how the non-profit New Schools for Alabama, recently got awarded $25 million)
And to this end New Hampshire was recently told that $46 million was waiting for them in the coffers of the USDOE so they could double the number of charter schools in the next five years.
Just one problem. Some folks in New Hampshire don’t want the money for more charter schools. So they have voted to block the first installment of this Washington handout. You can get all the details in this article in the Washington Post.
Some pertinent excerpts from the article.
Members of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee voted 7 to 3 to table the grant from the federal Charter School Program (CSP), with the majority Democrats saying they were concerned about the effect that the expansion of charter schools could have on traditional public schools at a time of decreasing enrollment.
The federal grant given this past August to New Hampshire was intended to allow the opening of 20 new charter schools. In addition, five existing charters could expand, and seven existing charters could “replicate” in other places.
Most of New Hampshire’s charters rent space from for-profit companies, a 2018 analysis by a pro-charter group shows. New Hampshire Public Radio reported that most of the state’s charter schools have fewer students than they are authorized to enroll.”
It should be noted that the political landscape of New Hampshire is starkly different than that of Alabama. Whereas the state was staunchly Republican for decades, it began to shift a couple of decades ago and today both of its U.S. Senators and two U.S. Congress persons are Democrats. And in 2018, Democrats took control of the legislature from the Republican party.