PHOENIX, AZ — Governor Doug Ducey urged Arizona’s Congressional Delegation to oppose federal legislation that will jeopardize critical funding the state’s public charter schools receive and put thousands of students at risk.
“I am writing to bring your attention to a hugely problematic section of the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Funding Bill. Section 314 of this legislation could have catastrophic effects on public charter schools in Arizona and throughout the nation,” Ducey wrote to Arizona’s two U.S. Senators and nine U.S. Representatives.
The legislation singles out public charter schools and threatens them with the potential loss of all of their federal funds if they contract with private companies for any services, with language stating: None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be awarded to a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school.
“This means that many of Arizona’s more than 230,000 public charter school students could be at risk of their school shutting down,” Governor Ducey states in the letter. “They educate over 21% of all public K-12 students in Arizona, the highest percentage in the country. It is unthinkable that support for public charter schools could be put at risk at all, much less as we are emerging from over a year’s worth of academic disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Arizona Charter Schools Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and members of the Arizona State Legislature have also voiced concerns regarding Section 314 of the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Funding Bill.