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Public Statements

Congratulating Charter Schools and their Students, Parents, Teachers, and Administrators

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I commend my good friend and colleague from Nevada for his support of this resolution as well as the Chair and the Ranking Member of the Education and the Workforce Committee. As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and as an original cosponsor of H. Res. 781, I strongly support this resolution honoring National Charter Schools Week.

Since the first charter school began in 1992 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the number of charter schools has grown to over 3,600, serving more than 1 million students across the country today. In Wisconsin, my home State, there are nearly 200 charter schools educating close to 30,000 students; and in my congressional district in Western Wisconsin, we have 24 charter schools.

Charter schools provide parents, along with their children, their students, another choice within the public education system.

One school in particular that I would like to highlight during National Charter Schools Week is LaCrosseroads in my hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin. It is an alternative high school. A specific project that has become part of the curriculum at this school was introduced by their teacher, Karen Schoenfeld; and it requires the students to record the oral histories of our veterans and submit their histories to the Library of Congress to be included in the Veterans History Project. Such projects are commendable and highly valuable to our students. It has provided a unique link between the younger generation with the older generation and a wonderful teaching opportunity about service to our country and a great history lesson for those students at LaCrosseroads.

I praise teachers such as Karen Schoenfeld who have broken down barriers to work with all students using innovative and creative strategies to teach.

It is important that charter schools give flexibility and options to teachers and their parents, but we must remember they are not the cure-all for improving public education. We have to be diligent at monitoring the success or failure of charter schools throughout the country and not afraid of shutting down those that are not working. That is the key to moving forward with the option of choice in our public school system, I believe.

Charter schools have consistently been at the forefront of my priority list, and I am pleased that Wisconsin is one of seven States with over 100 exceptional charter schools today. I have consistently advocated for increased support for charter schools and supported the Charter School Facilities Financing Demonstration Program during consideration of the No Child Left Behind legislation of 2001.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution honoring charter schools. It is our duty as representatives of this Congress to ensure that all our students reach their highest academic potential, and a charter school may provide a model better suited towards an individual student's needs.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and in conclusion, I just want to again thank the gentleman from Nevada for his leadership in support of this resolution. I am glad that the Congress has taken a moment this morning to recognize the important role that charter schools have throughout the entire country. We have heard some of the success stories of those that are working well. It has enabled the leaders of the education community, the leadership of these schools, the teachers, administrators, parents and other involved community members to think creatively and innovatively to enhance the educational opportunities of our kids in a less restrictive environment with greater flexibility but with the important accountability that we heard a lot about here today.

Again, I would encourage my colleagues to adopt this resolution and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Education and Workforce Committee in doing things to improve the charter school movement throughout the country.


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