CONGRATULATING CHARTER SCHOOLS FOR THEIR ONGOING CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION -- (House of Representatives - May 04, 2004)
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Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Nevada for the wonderful work that he has done on this resolution and for his support of charter schools. I am pleased to join him in cosponsoring this legislation and serving as an honorary cochairman of the National Charter School Week. The growth of charter schools across our country in recent years has allowed us to see firsthand the difference that these schools can make in children's lives.
In 2002, while I was a member of the Tennessee State Senate, we passed legislation allowing for the creation of public charter schools. That was signed into law in Tennessee that year. The legislation allowed for the creation of the first four public charter schools, which opened their doors in our State in 2003. These schools have had a great start, and I am looking forward to seeing the establishment of more charter schools in Tennessee.
Unfortunately, some traditional schools fail to serve some students, and charter schools have proven to be a great alternative for many of these students. Fifteen different studies show that students frequently enter charter schools significantly below grade level and then progress at or above the gains being made in surrounding districts and demographically comparable schools or with their State averages.
National Charter School Week is a great opportunity for us to talk about the success of charter schools and the success that they are having in meeting the needs of our children and their families and the success that they are having in encouraging children to become lifelong learners.