Press Release

AFT's Weingarten on Congress Passing the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act

For Release: 

Friday, May 9, 2014


Michael Heenan
202/585-4371; Cell:202/577-3941

WASHINGTON— Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the passing of the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act:

"We appreciate that the House made a number of improvements to the bill throughout the legislative process so charter schools would be more accountable, transparent and provide equitable access. In particular, the Wilson amendment would guarantee that parents have information on whom the charters are educating and how well they are doing it. However, there are still major gaps in the bill, such as on enrollment criteria that traditional public schools always follow.

"Several representatives, including Sheila Jackson Lee, Kathy Castor and Gwen Moore, pushed for additional measures to level the playing field based on their own or their constituents' charter school experiences. But for some reason, these amendments were rejected—presumably because some prefer to give preferential treatment to charter schools. We want preferential treatment for all our children.

"The AFT will continue the fight to ensure that charter schools are held accountable and their children receive the high-quality education they deserve."

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.