NECSN recently submitted a letter of support to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand from New York and Senators Murphy and Blumenthal from Connecticut in support of of Betsy Devos, the nominee for U.S. Department of Education Secretary.
January 10, 2017
The Honorable Lamar Alexander, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions 428 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Alexander,
The Northeast Charter Schools Network is the statewide membership association for the nearly 300 charter schools currently operating in New York and Connecticut. It is our mission to support and expand the charter school movement in both states, and with this in mind we offer our support for Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
As you know, charter schools have garnered great bipartisan support over the years. Both past President George W. Bush and President Obama boldly led on education policy in this regard, including by working to provide increased funding for charters through the Federal Charter Schools Program.
Secretaries of Education John King, Arne Duncan, Margaret Spellings and Roderick Paige were all strongly supportive of charter schools. These leaders recognized the importance of high quality school choices for families from all communities, particularly in places where schools have persistently struggled to help their students achieve academic success.
As the current Presidential transition is underway, we are watching along with the rest of the nation as a strong charter school advocate has been nominated to the important role of Education Secretary. While we do not personally know Ms. DeVos, we deeply appreciate the fight she has waged to create and defend more school options for families, including through increased access to charter schools.
Charter schools have made great strides since their inception 25 years ago but still face challenges. Strong federal policies will help advance and protect the many positive outcomes charter schools provide for the children and families they serve. We respectfully offer our support for the confirmation of Secretary-Designate DeVos.
William Phillips, Board Chair