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Public Statements

Congratulating Charter Schools Across the United States

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the resolution be printed in the Record.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 447) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

S. Res. 447

Whereas charter schools deliver high-quality public education and challenge all students to reach their potential;

Whereas charter schools promote innovation and excellence in public education;

Whereas charter schools provide thousands of families with diverse and innovative educational options for their children;

Whereas charter schools are public schools authorized by a designated public entity that--

(1) respond to the needs of communities, families, and students in the United States; and

(2) promote the principles of quality, accountability, choice, and innovation;

Whereas, in exchange for flexibility and autonomy, charter schools are held accountable by their sponsors for improving student achievement and for the financial and other operations of the charter schools;

Whereas 40 States, the District of Columbia, and Guam have passed laws authorizing charter schools;

Whereas, as of the date of approval of this resolution, 5,275 charter schools are serving more than 2,000,000 children;

Whereas in fiscal year 2011 and the 18 previous fiscal years, Congress has provided a total of more than $3,000,000,000 in financial assistance to the charter school movement through grants for planning, startup, implementation, dissemination, and facilities;

Whereas numerous charter schools improve the achievements of students and stimulate improvement in traditional public schools;

Whereas charter schools are required to meet the student achievement accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) in the same manner as traditional public schools;

Whereas charter schools often set higher and additional individual goals than the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.) to ensure that charter schools are of high quality and truly accountable to the public;

Whereas charter schools--

(1) give parents the freedom to choose public schools;

(2) routinely measure parental satisfaction levels; and

(3) must prove their ongoing success to parents, policymakers, and the communities served by the charter schools;

Whereas more than 50 percent of charter schools report having a waiting list, and the total number of students on all such waiting lists is enough to fill more than 1,100 average-sized charter schools; and

Whereas the 13th annual National Charter Schools Week is scheduled to be held May 6 through May 12, 2012: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) congratulates the students, parents, teachers, and administrators of charter schools across the United States for--

(A) ongoing contributions to education;

(B) the impressive strides made in closing the persistent academic achievement gap in the United States; and

(C) improving and strengthening the public school system in the United States;

(2) supports the ideals and goals of the 13th annual National Charter Schools Week, a week-long celebration to be held May 6 through May 12, 2012, in communities throughout the United States; and

(3) encourages the people of the United States to hold appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities during National Charter Schools Week to demonstrate support for charter schools.

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