House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.



Dear Colleague

April 22, 2009

Cosponsor House Resolution Recognizing the 10th Annual National Charter School Week: "Promoting Innovation and Excellence"

Dear Colleague:

Charter schools are public schools with unique traits that increase the likelihood of a successful education for a child.   Charter schools have increased flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual children, make timely decisions about developing curriculum, to alter the structure of the school day, and hire teachers who meet the needs of their students.  They are accountable – to parents, authorizers, the state, and lenders – that leads to quality schools and high achievement. Parents exercise choice by sending their children to charters, and teachers choose to be a part of educational innovation by working in them. 

The federal government has played a substantial role in supporting public charter schools and continues to be a strong supporter of these innovative schools. With broad bipartisan support, public charter schools are making a difference and giving children and families an opportunity for high quality public school choice.

There are over 4,600 charter schools across the country, educating over 1.4 million children.  The first charter school opened in Minnesota in 1992, and since then, 39 other states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation creating public charter schools. 

Please join me in cosponsoring the resolution to commend charter schools for their ongoing contributions to education and improving and strengthening our public school system.  The deadline to sign on to the resolution is Wednesday, April 29th.  A copy of the resolution is below. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Gordon Larsen in the Office of Congressman Rob Bishop (UT) at 5-0453 or Chad Miller of the Education and Labor Committee Republican staff at 6-8821.


Congressman Rob Bishop (UT)

House Resolution Recognizing the 10th Annual National Charter School Week:
"Promoting Innovation and Excellence"

Whereas charter schools deliver high-quality education and challenge our students to reach their potential;
Whereas charter schools provide thousands of families with diverse and innovative educational options for their children; 

Whereas charter schools are public schools authorized by a designated public entity that are responding to the needs of our communities, families, and students and promoting the principles of quality, choice, and innovation; 

Whereas in exchange for the flexibility and autonomy given to charter schools, they are held accountable by their sponsors for improving student achievement and for their financial and other operations; 

Whereas 40 States, the District of Columbia, and Guam have passed laws authorizing charter schools; 

Whereas over 4,728 charter schools are now serving approximately 1,400,000 children; 

Whereas over the last 15 years, Congress has provided substantial support to the charter school movement through startup financing assistance and grants for planning, implementation, and dissemination; 

Whereas over 365,000 children are on charter school waiting lists nationally; 

Whereas charter schools improve their students' achievement and can stimulate improvement in traditional public schools; 

Whereas charter schools must meet the student achievement accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in the same manner as traditional public schools, and often set higher and additional individual goals to ensure that they are of high quality and truly accountable to the public; 

Whereas charter schools must continually demonstrate their ongoing success to parents, policymakers, and their communities, some charter schools routinely measure parental satisfaction levels, and all give parents new freedom to choose their public school; 

Whereas charter schools nationwide serve a higher percentage of low-income and minority students than the traditional public system; 

Whereas charter schools have enjoyed broad bipartisan support from the Administration, Congress, State Governors and legislatures, educators, and parents across the United States; and 

Whereas the tenth annual National Charter Schools Week, to be held May 3 through May 9, 2009, is an event sponsored by charter schools and grassroots charter school organizations across the United States to recognize the significant impacts, achievements, and innovations of charter schools: Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) acknowledges and commends charter schools and their students, parents, teachers, and administrators across the United States for their ongoing contributions to education and improving and strengthening our public school system;
(2) supports the tenth annual National Charter Schools Week; and
(3) joins the President in calling on the people of the United States to conduct appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities to demonstrate support for charter schools during this weeklong celebration in communities throughout the United States.