Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Congressman Jack Kimble on Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act

[Reprinted from the Last Stand for Children First Blog]

Earlier today, I came off the campaign trail to sign important providing education choice for millions of parents across the country. Charter schools are the wave of the future in this country by providing the selectivity of private schools, but doing it at tax payer expense. Charter schools are freed up of the bureaucratic nightmare of environmental and fiscal regulation and aren't required to grant their teachers due process as a result fully 17% of charter schools perform better than public schools and some of them have become multi-million job creators.

One of the greatest things about charter school supporters like hedge fund operator Whitney Tilson is that they don't limit their contributions to one political party. It's not unusual to be at a pro-charter cocktail party and find liberals like Jared Polis socializing with strict conservatives like myself. It's this spirit of putting children first across party boundaries is one of the reasons that this bill had such huge bipartisan support. Of course, a lot of wining and dining on vintage wine and one and a half pound lobsters stuffed with one pound lobsters didn't hurt.

Charters have been under an increasing microscope lately after test scores in Chicago and Los Angeles both showed them as doing considerably worse than the neighborhood schools so hopefully this extra cash will help them to put the nasty press behind them. Above all, this act was for the kids. It isn't so much choosing a better alternative as much as it is providing a choice and isn't that really what we all want. While charters will take money away from neighborhood schools, that may enable 20 or even 25% of charter schools to start outperforming neighborhood students and isn't that something we can all get behind, even if we're not getting a large check to cover our campaign expenses?

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