Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Polis Ensures Charter Schools Get Equitable Facility Funding

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill ensuring all public schools are safe, healthy learning environments. This includes charter schools due to an amendment by Colorado's U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. According to Nelson Smith, with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools:
This is a vitally important issue of equity for the 1.4 million students in 4,700 schools in 40 states that have charter schools. Nationally, only 13 states and the District of Columbia provide charter schools with facilities aid, forcing the charters to use operational dollars on facility support. We greatly appreciate Chairman George Miller (D-CA) for recognizing the importance of this critical issue, and for Rep. Polis’s leadership in ensuring that charters are treated fairly in this piece of legislation. We hope the Senate follows with this statement of equality for all eligible public schools."
In Colorado, Jared Polis is a founder of the New American Schools, which operates campuses in Thornton, Aurora, Lakewood and Gypsum. The charter school's educational model is designed to serve 15-21 year old new immigrants and English Language Learners by improving their English skills and qualifying students to earn a high school diploma. Polis previously served as an at-large member on the state Board of Education.

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