The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce today approved the second in a series of education reform bills designed to overhaul current elementary and secondary education law. The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 2218), sponsored by Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Duncan Hunter, passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 34 to 5.
Rep. Hunter said, "This legislation will open the doors of opportunity for parents and children across the country. By encouraging the development and expansion of more high-quality charter schools, not only will we offer fresh hope to the more than 400,000 students currently on charter school waitlists, we will also take a great step toward building a stronger, more successful education system. I look forward to House passage of H.R. 2218."
"I am pleased both sides of the committee have come together to support the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act," said Chairman John Kline (R-MN). "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. Rep. Hunter's legislation will help get the federal government out of the way of local innovation and pave the way for a more challenging, rewarding classroom experience in communities nationwide. I applaud all my committee colleagues for their diligent and collaborative work on this legislation."
H.R. 2218 will modernize and streamline the federal Charter School Program, and provide greater opportunities for states to support the development and expansion of successful charter schools. Additionally, the legislation will enhance how policymakers measure the impact of the Charter School Program, ensuring taxpayer dollars are used effectively.