NAACP PLAN OF ACTION FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS
In 2016 NAACP National Convention delegates passed, and the National Board affirmed, a resolution calling for a moratorium on the expansion of charter schools. The board subsequently convened a Task Force for Quality Education, which embarked on a national series of hearings to gather data and diverse perspectives on the state of charter schools and their traditional public school counterparts.
NAACP Task Force on Quality Education
The National Board then convened a Task Force for Quality Education, which embarked on a national series of hearings to gather data and diverse perspectives on the state of charter schools and their traditional public school counterparts. Read the press release announcing the establishment of the task force.
The Task Force produced a comprehensive report on their findings from seven hearings across the country.
The Task Force frames their report around five critical recommendations for regulating charter schools and strengthening the public education system.
- More equitable and adequate funding for all schools serving students of color.
Education funding has been inadequate and unequal for students of color for hundreds of years. The United States has one of the most unequal school funding systems of any country in the industrialized world. Resources are highly unequal across states, across districts, and across schools, and they have declined in many communities over the last decade. In 36 states, public school funding has not yet returned to pre-2008 levels-before the great recession, and in many states, inner city schools have experienced the deepest cuts. Federal funds have also declined in real dollar terms for both Title I and for special education expenditures over the last decade.
- School finance reform is needed.
To solve the quality education problems that are at the root of many of the issues, school finance reform is essential to ensure that resources are allocated according to student needs. States should undertake the kinds of weighted student formula reforms that Massachusetts and California have pursued, and the federal government should fully enforce the funding-equity provisions in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
- Invest in low-performing schools and schools with significant opportunity to close the achievement gap.
Students learn in safe, supportive, and challenging learning environments under the tutelage of well- prepared, caring adults. Participants in every hearing stressed the importance of the type of classroom investments that have consistently been shown to raise student achievement. To ensure that all students receive a high-quality education, federal, state, and local policies need to sufficiently invest in: (1) incentives that attract and retain fully qualified educators, (2) improvements in instructional quality that include creating challenging and inclusive learning environments; and (3) wraparound services for young people, including early childhood education, health and mental health services, extended learning time, and social supports.
- Mandate a rigorous authoring and renewal process for charters
One way that states and districts can maintain accountability for charter schools is through their regulation of the organizations that authorize charter schools. States with the fewest authorizers have been found to have the strongest charter school outcomes. To do this, states should allow only districts to serve as authorizers, empower those districts to reject applications that do not meet standards, and establish policies for serious and consistent oversight.
- Eliminate for-profit charter schools
No federal, state, or local taxpayer dollars should be used to fund for-profit charter schools, nor should public funding be sent from nonprofit charters to for-profit charter management companies. The widespread findings of misconduct and poor student performance in for-profit charter schools demand the elimination of these schools. Moreover, allowing for-profit entities to operate schools creates an inherent conflict of interest.