Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Monday, June 1, 2009
(UNDATED) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan is warning states which put up roadblocks to charter schools could miss out on federal funding.
But charter opponents in Indiana are still skeptical.
Last month's failed budget deal included a cap on charter schools: no more than one new charter per school district.
House education chairman Greg Porter says the prospect of 100-million dollars or more in extra stimulus money isn't enough to reconsider the cap.
"It gives me the same flavor as with no child left behind," porter says.
"(That) came with x number of dollars and said if you did not do no child left behind, you would lose those dollars. And we came to find out that NCLB was not meeting the needs of our students."
Porter argues the cap still leaves room for nearly 300 new charters.
State School Superintendent Tony Bennett contends that's a phony argument, since most local school boards have shown no interest in charters.
Duncan himself has said the administration won't accept that logic, warning even states which have passed other education reforms would likely be ineligible for the new "race to the top" grants if they block access to charter schools.
"There are a number of states that are leading this (education reform) effort, and we want to invest a huge amount of money into them," Duncan has said.
"And the states that don't have the stomach or the political will, unfortunately, they're going to lose out."
House democrats included the cap to the state budget.
House republicans cited the cap as one reason for their refusal to vote for the budget, which failed in the house 71-27 to force a special session.
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