LIVE WEBCAST | June 22, 2011 -
Click here to watch the LIVE webcast of the markup beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Opening Statement of House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (remarks as prepared):
We can all agree that when it comes to educating our children, the status quo simply does not work. Forty years of more federal spending and more federal mandates have failed to improve student achievement.
Decisions about how to keep children learning and engaged in the classroom should largely be left to the parents, teachers, and school officials who are on the ground, interacting with children and the community on a daily basis. We must get the federal government out of the way of local innovation, and that starts with streamlining and modernizing existing programs and regulations.
The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act will reform and simplify the federal Charter School Program. There is bipartisan agreement that supporting the development of high quality charter schools is a worthwhile endeavor. However, there are still too many barriers preventing the expansion of these innovative institutions. H.R. 2218 will encourage the establishment and replication of high-quality charter schools, offer incentives to states to remove unnecessary burdens that restrict charter school growth, and promote greater accountability.
Statement of Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (remarks as prepared):
I appreciate the opportunity to introduce the committee’s second piece of legislation to help improve the nation’s education system. One of the top priorities in our reform efforts is streamlining federal programs and policies affecting K-12 classrooms. To that end, the legislation we will consider today simplifies and modernizes the federal Charter School Program to better support the success we have seen from charter schools over the past 20 years.
Charter schools are amazingly innovative and have the potential to make a world of difference for children in communities across the U.S. Unlike traditional public schools, the charter school model is not limited by a one-size-fits-all approach to educating students. Instead, these institutions enjoy freedom from state and local rules and regulations in exchange for stronger accountability.
The flexibility afforded to charter schools allows teachers and school administrators to adjust schedules and coursework to better serve a wide range of students in their individual communities, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners. If a charter school believes mandatory summer sessions or classes on Saturdays or special curriculum will generate the best results for its students, it can do so. Charter schools can also offer full or hybrid-online options for learning outside the traditional classroom setting, which is particularly helpful for students in rural communities with fewer education choices.
To view a bill summary, click here. To view markup materials, click here.
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