A bipartisan bill that would free up more federal money to fund the growth of high-quality charter schools sailed through the House on Friday, just hours after the chamber also passed a bill to expand education research programs – a sign the logjam facing major education legislation could be subsiding.
The Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act – a bill introduced by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman and ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Comittee – passed on a 360-45 vote. It would streamline two existing charter school programs, combine grants to open new schools and renovate facilities, and ask for $50 million more in annual charter school funding, bringing the total to $300 million.
"A great education is the foundation that Americans need to climb the economic ladder of success, and to build a bright future," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Friday before the vote. "For far too many children in our country, a quality education remains out of reach and kids without access to a quality of education struggle to even see any opportunity to get ahead."