Some cash-strapped states and school districts are signaling a major expansion of charter schools to tap $5 billion in federal stimulus funds, despite strong opposition from some teachers unions.
Charter schools are typically non-unionized, publicly funded alternative schools that have been widely promoted by conservatives as a needed dose of competition in public education.
Last month, the Louisiana legislature voted to eliminate that state’s cap on new charter schools. The Tennessee legislature recently passed a bill expanding charter schools after U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan personally lobbied Democrats who had been blocking it. And the Rhode Island legislature reversed a plan to eliminate funding for new charters after Mr. Duncan warned such a move could hurt the state’s chances for grant money.
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(The Wall Street Journal 07.17.09)