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Mr. CARSON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, as the House of Representatives continues to discuss how we can improve upon our nation's system of education, I would like to address my colleagues and constituents on the importance of collaboration on this issue. Our nation's young people play a vital role in the future of our country, and we must focus on the best interests of our children.
Over 20,000 students in my state of Indiana attend public charter schools. Parents seeking fresh opportunities for their children are finding successful charter school programs within some communities that educate our children in new and innovative ways. Whereas misguided programs, such as private school vouchers, take money away from improving our schools, investing in well-managed charter schools is one way to improve upon existing public school systems. Through these efforts, public school educators are able to offer experiential learning programs that take creative approaches to teaching.
H.R. 2218, the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act, has come to a vote at a critical time in our nation's history. America is at a crossroads with record unemployment, staggering deficits and widespread public discontent. Members of Congress must make the tough decisions that will make preparing all American children for the global economy a priority.
Although I realize the bill fails to address the needs to reform all of our schools, I decided to vote in support of Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act. I support the Charter Schools Program and believe we must continue to invest in school infrastructure and innovative teaching styles. I believe this legislation takes a positive step toward adding civil rights protections for students with disabilities and ensuring higher levels of overall quality within public charter schools.
As the husband of a public school principal, I recognize the need to ensure that America's children are all equally prepared for the future. I pledge to continue working with all of my colleagues to invest in across-the-board improvements in all of our public schools and create incentives that include traditional public schools, students, parents and educators.
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