The Biden Administration recently acceded to criticism from Attorney General Ken Paxton and other attorneys general regarding a new regulatory proposal restricting public charter school grants.
In a recent Oklahoma-led letter to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), several states argued that two proposed changes to a federal charter school program would decrease the educational opportunities for students in areas with underperforming schools. Under a proposed community impact analysis requirement, an applicant trying to open or expand a charter school would have been required to demonstrate demand through over-enrollment in local public schools. But this requirement fails to consider evidence that students and parents demand high quality education due to the public schools’ poor performance as much or more than due to their over-enrollment. Additionally, a proposed requirement that a charter school partner with a public school as a condition of participation would have unfairly penalized the charter school and given low-performing public schools a potential veto over the charter school’s funding
In light of the pushback from Attorney General Paxton and others, the DOE removed both plan provisions.