Stop federal funding of charter schools



April 10, 2019 - 9:44 AM

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

Democratic members of Congress recently grilled Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over her budget proposing huge cuts to programs including the Special Olympics while calling for a $60 million hike in spending on charter schools.

Some of their questions were prompted by a new report that I co-authored with Network for Public Education Executive Director Carol Burris. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., asked DeVos how she found extra money for charters in a budget “full of cruel cuts to education,” especially given the report’s findings of “waste and abuse.”

The report, titled “Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Recklessly Takes Taxpayers and Students for a Ride,” found that up to $1 billion awarded by the U.S. Department of Education Charter Schools Program, in more than 1,000 grants, went to charter schools that never opened or opened for only brief periods before being shut down.

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