Carper-Gregg ‘Charter and Choice’ Could Be Point of Compromise, Empowering Parents Act Scheduled for Vote after Voucher Bill; Satellite Feed Available

WASHINGTON DC- Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Judd Gregg’s (R- NH) bipartisan “Charters and Choice” amendment is scheduled for a vote today. Carper-Gregg encourages school districts with low-performing schools to experiment with broad public school choice. The Empowering Parents Act provides $125 million in competitive grants to help communities with low-performing schools implement public school choice and provides $400 million dollars to assist charter schools with start up costs and facilities. “This amendment takes the same common-sense ideas we worked for in Delaware and expands them so that children across this great country will have an equal chance for success,” said Carper. Senators Carper and Gregg introduced a bill by the same name, with 8 Democrat and 7 Republican original cosponsors at the outset of the education debate. Today’s “Charters and Choice” amendment to the education plan also enjoys strong support from a coalition of conservatives, moderates and progressives. “It is absolutely imperative for us to work across party lines in this age of divided control. With common sense ideas and a commitment to our children, Senator Gregg and I hope to expand the opportunities for school choice and charter schools across the country,” said Carper. This amendment will provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually for the creation of charter schools and a competitive grants program to help under performing public schools.” School choice would give families the ability to switch from under performing schools to successful ones, encouraging competition and empowering parents to make greater choices. The Carper-Gregg Amendment expands the current charter schools credit enhancement demonstration to provide $200 million yearly in grants to entities that help charters leverage private financing for facilities and start-up costs, and it expands the Public Charter Schools program to provide $200 million in matching grants to states that establish or enhance programs of per pupil facilities funding assistance to charter schools. Footage from Senator Carper’s floor speech today will be available via satellite feed from 4: 25-4:30 this afternoon. Telstar:6 Transponder: 8 Downlink: 3860 Audio: 2.6 & 2.8