77th Annual Meeting

EXPANDING SCHOOL CHOICE THROUGH INCREASED SUPPORT FOR HIGH QUALITY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

WHEREAS, today, there are more than 4,600 public charter schools serving over 1.4 million students and families in 40 states and the District of Columbia; and

WHEREAS, in the 2008-2009 school year 426 new public charter schools opened, further expanding the portfolio of public school choice nationwide; and

WHEREAS, public charter schools serve a disproportionate and increasing number of poor and minority students (over 60%), providing a critically needed educational alternative in our most underserved communities; and

WHEREAS, public charter schools are often shortchanged on public funding, nationally receiving only 78% in average per-pupil funding compared with their district counterparts; and

WHEREAS, many public charter schools are helping to increase academic performance, graduation rates and college matriculation; and

WHEREAS, school choice has strong public support with over 75% of registered voters favoring giving parents more options when choosing a public school for their children and supporting the lifting of state caps on the number of charter schools,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors recognizes the contribution of public charter schools in expanding high quality educational options and urges the federal government to strengthen its investment in high quality public charter schools; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports lifting state caps on the number of charter schools to address the demand as evident by the 375,000 children and families currently on charter school waiting lists; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports public school funding to follow the child, closing the funding gap between traditional and public charter schools; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports funding facilities for public charter schools to alleviate the crippling financial burden on charter schools to finance capital expenditures out of their limited operational budgets; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors increase accountability and oversight to ensure all public charter schools are providing a high quality alternative to traditional public schools.