Today, the White House released a new report detailing the growth of charter schools across the country, and announced that the President's FY 2001 budget includes $175 million for the Public Charter Schools Program – a $30 million increase over last year's levels. Today's report, produced for the Department of Education, reveals that charter schools are growing more widespread each year, and are bringing benefits through smaller size and diversity.
New Report Highlights Popularity, Size, and Diversity of Charter Schools. Charter schools are independent public schools founded by parents and teachers, and open to all students. In exchange for high levels of accountability for student achievement, charter schools are given more autonomy and flexibility than traditional public schools in staffing, curriculum, and other areas. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia have now passed legislation allowing the creation of charter schools. Today's report shows:
President Clinton's Leadership Key To Growth Of Charter Schools. President Clinton has long been a champion of charter schools. When the President was first elected, there was only one public charter school in the United States. This year, according to today's report, 1,605 charter schools were in operation as of September 1999 – more than half of the President's goal of 3,000 charter schools. National leadership has played a key role in this rapid growth: federal funds have supported the creation of charter schools and helped disseminate best practices and strategies among these schools. Local charter schools use federal funds for planning and development as well as for start-up costs, which are a major barrier to the creation of such schools.
Improving Public Education And Empowering Parents. Charter schools help strengthen public education and provide benefits to parents and students by:
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