Great News for Public Education from Kentucky and More from 2023
As we think about 2023, we look back with pride on all the Network for Public Education has accomplished. We issued six new reports, including a groundbreaking report on right-wing charter schools and a debunking of the CREDO report. Our tenth-anniversary conference was a stunning success, bringing together advocates from all over the country, united in the fight for public schools. We educated members of Congress on the problems with the federal Charter School Programs, resulting in the Administration and the Senate putting forth a budget, once again, with flat funding for the CSP program.
Our grassroots network is growing with 202 member groups, welcoming nineteen in 2023. And those connections proved powerful. Despite the number of voucher bills that passed, the majority failed, including bills in Texas, Georgia, Idaho, and North Dakota. Throughout last year’s legislative season, the Network for Public Education provided facts, resources, and strategies to advocates on the ground to push back against the continued attacks to destroy public education by privatizing it with vouchers.
Along with outstanding partners, we filed a complaint regarding a federal grant given to a Hillsdale charter school, which we will continue to pursue next year, and we are working with local groups in Orange County, California, to oppose another Hillsdale charter from taking the building from a local elementary school.
When it comes to “school choice,” whether charter schools or vouchers, NPE provides the facts, not the spin. Behind the scenes, we give tools to grassroots groups as they push back against the billionaire-funded agenda intent on destroying our neighborhood schools.
But we can only continue to do that with your help. Despite our tiny staff and shoestring budget, we have a mighty voice. Make sure we have the funding to continue our work in 2024 by making a tax-deductible donation. Please join the fight to save our public schools.
A Stunning Victory in Kentucky: Judge declares charter schools a “separate and unequal system of education.”
Judge Phillip J. Shepherd of Kentucky’s Franklin Circuit Court gets it. He recently struck down the state’s charter law. In that decision, the judge clearly outlined why charter schools were not public schools according to the constitution of the Kentucky Commonwealth.
What impressed us the most was his rationale.
In rendering his decision, the judge called charter schools a “separate and unequal system of education.” He based his decision on the following features: exemption from traditional oversight and regulation; enrollment caps that shut out some children; for-profit management of the school, no “guardrails that ensure these tax dollars are used for a public purpose;” and governance by an unelected board.
You can read that historic decision here.
We Will Be There Fighting in 2024
We will return in 2024 with a new national report card, additional resources, advocacy campaigns, and grassroots support.
Until then, Diane Ravitch and the Board of the Network for Public Education, Marla, Joanna, and I wish you a very merry and joyful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!