September 1, 2021 3:23 pm

NPE Re-schedules Conference for March 2022 and More

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We are so disappointed to announce that we need to re-schedule our NPE/NPE Action conference until next spring. However, we are happy to announce that we have secured a new date–March 19 and 20. Again, we will be in Philadelphia at the Doubletree Hotel.

We were hopeful this time. Even when Delta began, we believed, as told, that breakthrough infections are rare. They are not. Every one in five infections in New Jersey, the only state that seems to be keeping track, sickens a vaccinated person. 20% is not rare.

And so we realized that even with a vaccine mandate for attendees, we could not protect you or the children and young students you might return to when the conference is done.

We ask for your patience once again. As public education advocates fighting the uphill battle to save and improve public schools, we look with hope to the spring of 2022.

There is no need to re-register. We will honor your tickets. If you canceled and were kind enough to donate your ticket, let us know, and we will make sure you get a free ticket to attend. We are happy to issue refunds minus credit and bank fees, but the best deal is holding that registration and saving fees and price increases.

Support for Charters and Vouchers Has Dropped

Despite the myth that the pandemic resulted in an increased appetite for privatized alternatives to public schools, the opposite is true, according to a new poll just published by EdNext. Support for both charter schools and vouchers is down by substantial amounts. Only 33% of all Democrats now support charter schools–that’s an all-time low.  Less than half of all Americans (41%) now support them. Your constant advocacy for public schools and against privatized alternatives is paying off.


The House Moves Forward to Ban Charters Run for Profit From Receiving Federal Funds

Despite a campaign of misinformation by the charter lobby claiming there are no for-profit charter schools, the House of Representatives included Section 314 in their 2022 budget proposal.  Section 314 says:

“None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be awarded to a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school.”

This means that for-profit charter school operators won’t use federal dollars to put profits over students. It will close a loophole that allows corporations to set up a non-profit front to sweep federal funding meant for classrooms into private pockets. The Network for Public Education actively advocated for this ban, and our efforts will continue this fall as the 2022 budget moves forward.  Look for our action alerts.

The Charter Schools Program Funds White Flight Schools in North Carolina

We were appalled when we saw the list of charter schools funded by federal money through the CSP. The U.S Department of Education awarded a grant to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction that passed the money on to white flight charters to expand. Awards were given to schools that do not participate in the federal lunch program nor provide transportation, as well as schools that require parents to volunteer or make donations.  One of the schools even uses corporal punishment. Eleven of the schools are or will be run by for-profits.

The Network for Public Education and more than 60 other national and local organizations wrote a letter to Secretary Cardona asking him to investigate and call back the grant issued by Betsy De Vos. We also filed a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General on irregularities we found.

Our complaints are under review. This blatant abuse of federal tax dollars, increasing segregation in the North Carolina public school system, cannot stand.

The important work we do would not be possible without your support. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Network for Public Education here.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy new school year.