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Letter to House Rules Committee on Amendments to H.R. 10

May 07, 2014

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), and the students they serve, we offer our views on select amendments that have been filed for Rules Committee consideration today related to the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10).  While H.R. 10 contains some improvements to current law, it falls short of what is needed to ensure greater accountability and transparency. 

We urge you to vote YES on the following amendments to allow full consideration by the House of Representatives and to strengthen H.R. 10: 

  • Amendment 1 by Rep. Moore (D-WI): This amendment would establish a two percent set-aside of funds to assist with state oversight of their charter schools, and ensure disclosure of private sources of funding in audits. 
  • Amendment 6 by Reps. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Honda (D-CA): This amendment requires public disclosure of all private contributions to charter schools in order to support public accountability and transparency.
  • Amendment 7 by Reps. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Honda (D-CA): This amendment requires states to create conflict of interest guidelines to prevent purchase arrangements which are not transparent. It also ensures board meetings are open to the public and held at times when parents can attend and testify and that governing board minutes are published and available on the school’s website.
  • Amendment 9 by Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX):  This amendment ensures that charter schools make certain information publicly available on their website including student recruitment, enrollment criteria, student discipline policies, behavior codes, and any parent contract requirements or financial obligations.
  • Amendment 10 by Rep. Tierney (D-MA): This amendment recognizes the importance of parental involvement in education and ensures that board meetings of charter schools must be open to parents and the public, announced in advance, and held at times that are conducive to parental participation.
  • Amendment 11 by Rep. Tierney (D-MA): This amendment increases transparency and accountability by ensuring that charter governing boards are treated as public entities with access to detailed school budget information from “education management organizations” who are contracted with management of the school.
  • Amendment 12 by Reps. Wilson (D-FL), R. Davis (R-IL), Duckworth (D-IL), Grayson (D-FL), McKinley (R-WV), and Fudge (D-OH): This amendment will ensure collection and public dissemination of information that will help parents make informed decisions about education options for their children, including disaggregated data on student outcomes, suspensions, and expulsions.
  • Amendment 19 by Rep. Kaptur (D-OH):  This amendment requires that all charter schools receiving public funds publicly disclose information on school demographics, student attrition rates, and total tax dollars received. 
  • Amendment 21 by Reps. Reichert (R-WA), Larsen (D-WA), and DelBene (D-WA): This amendment respects states’ ability to determine the best charter school system to meet their students’ needs and prevents states with charter school caps from being at a competitive disadvantage when competing for federal funding.
  • Amendment 25 by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA): This amendment requires states to report how they have worked with their charter schools to foster community involvement.  

Thank you for your consideration on these vital amendments to H.R. 10. 

Sincerely,  

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations