H.R. 10

Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act

Rep. John Kline

May 8, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Kimberly Betz

Floor Situation

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, under a rule. H.R. 10 was introduced on April 1, 2014 by Representative John Kline (R-MN), Chairman, House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Committee).  H.R. 10 was marked up and favorably reported, with an amendment, on April 8, 2014 by a vote of 36-3.[1]

[1] http://beta.congress.gov/113/crpt/hrpt423/CRPT-113hrpt423.pdf.

Bill Summary

“H.R. 10 … streamlines and modernizes the existing charter school programs [currently authorized] under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into one. The bill also refocuses the new program to promote high-quality charter schools at the state and local levels and allows states to use federal funds to start new charter schools as well as expand and replicate existing high-quality charter schools.  Additionally, the bill authorizes a charter management organization grant program to support the organization’s success in replicating and expanding high-quality charter schools nationwide.

The new Charter School Program will consist of three parts:

  • Grants to support high-quality charter schools will be awarded to a State Educational Agency, the State Charter School Board, the Governor, or a Charter School Support Organization. The grants will support the expansion and replication of high-quality charter schools, along with new, innovative charter school models by state entities committed to charter school quality, which increases opportunities for all students to benefit from quality charter schools. Additionally, each state will use a portion of the funding to support quality initiatives aimed toward improved charter school authorizing.
  • Facilities Aid will be awarded to continue credit enhancement activities and support state facilities aid for charter schools.
  • National Activities will allow the Secretary of Education to operate a grant competition for charter schools in states that did not win or compete for a state grant and a grant competition for high quality charter management organizations (CMO). This section also requires the secretary to offer technical assistance to eligible grantees applying for the grant, and to grantees implementing the grant. The secretary will also be allowed to disseminate best practices to ensure all public schools may benefit from charter schools’ success. Finally, the secretary will conduct an evaluation of the effects of the legislation on charter schools, including on student achievement.

The Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act authorizes the Charter School Program at $300 million for FY 2015 through FY 2020. The bill clarifies that state-determined weighted lotteries are permitted under this program and clarifies students in affiliated charter schools can attend the next immediate grade in that network’s school. Furthermore, the bill makes technical corrections to other provisions in the Charter School Program, including modifying the definition of a ‘‘charter school’’ to clarify a charter school can serve early childhood students as well as postsecondary students. Finally, the legislation adds five new definitions to the law: ‘‘charter management organization,’’ ‘‘charter support organization,’’ ‘‘high quality charter school,’’ ‘‘expansion of a high-quality charter school,’’ and ‘‘replicable, high-quality charter school model.’’[1]

[1] See id, p. 48-49.


The first state to enact legislation authorizing charter schools was Minnesota in 1991. Its first charter school subsequently opened in 1992.[1]  Six states followed in enacting state charter school legislation in 1992 and 1993, including California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Mexico.  In 1994, Congress authorized “the first charter school program under Title X, Part C of the ESEA, with the enactment of the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA; 103-382).”[2] Later in 2002, No Child Left Behind created two charter school facilities support programs – the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants and Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program.[3]

Title V-B-1 and V-B-2 of ESEA currently authorize the Charter School Program and the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program, respectively. The statutory purpose of the Charter School Program is to “increase national understanding of charter schools by: providing funding for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools; evaluating the effects of such schools, including the effects of charter schools on students, student academic achievement, parents, and staff; expanding the number of ‘high-quality’ charter schools; and encouraging states to provide support to charter schools for facilities financing in an amount that is similar to the amount provided to traditional public schools.”[4]  The Charter School Program supports grants for charter school developers to open new charter schools; provides funds to disseminate best practices; and provides state facilities aid to charter schools. The program was last authorized at $300 million in FY2002 and such sums as necessary for FY 2003 through 2007.

The statutory purpose of Title V-B-2 is to provide “grants to eligible entities to enable them to demonstrate ‘innovative credit enhancement initiatives’ that will assist charter schools in acquiring, constructing, and renovating facilities.”[5]  The Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program assists charter schools in accessing better credit terms for funding to acquire and renovate facilities used to operate a charter school. The program was last authorized at $150 million in FY 2002 and such sums as necessary for FY 2003 through 2007.

According to CRS, in 1999, 36 states and the District of Columbia authorized charter schools. Currently, in 2014, 42 states and the District of Columbia have statutes in place authorizing charter schools.[6]  The number of schools has grown in tandem with the number of state laws. For example, during the 2000-2001 school year, 1,941 charter schools were in existence serving 459,000 students. Today, “there are 6,004 charter schools, accounting for 6.3 percent of all public schools, serving 2.3 million students, accounting for 4.6 percent of all public school students.”[7] It is estimated that 920,000 students are on charter school wait lists.

[1] See CRS, Charter School Programs Authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA Title V-B): A Primer, p.2.
[2] See id.
[3] See id.
[4] See id.
[5] See id.
[6] See id, p.1.
[7] See id.


CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $1.0 billion over the 2015-2019 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts. The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 500 (education, training, employment, and social services). For this estimate, CBO assumes that spending will follow historical patterns for the affected programs. Enacting the bill would have no impact on direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. H.R. 10 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.[1]

[1] See http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/hr10_0.pdf


1)         Rep. Kline (R-MN) Manager’s Amendment #20 – Amendment makes technical corrections and improvements to the underlying bill text.

2)         Rep. Cassidy (R-LA) Amendment #23 – Amendment requires GAO to audit/track the dollars and examine if the money allocated from administrative costs is appropriate.

3)         Rep. Castor (D-FL) Amendment #14 – Amendment requires the Secretary of the Department of Education to develop and enforce conflict of interest guidelines for all charter schools receiving federal assistance. Guidelines must include disclosures from anyone affiliated with the charter school that has a financial interest in the school.

4)         Rep. Moore (D-WI) Amendment #1 – Amendment establishes a two percent set-aside within state funds to provide oversight of the use of funds by charter schools.

5)         Reps. Bass (D-CA), Marino (R-PA), McDermott (D-WA) and Bachmann (R-MN) Amendment #17 – Amendment adds on p. 14, line 16 after all students “, including eliminating any barriers to enrollment for foster youth or unaccompanied homeless youth,”. This will ensure that there are no unnecessary barriers for foster youth in charter school enrollment and ensure the inclusion and retention of all students no matter the involvement or lack of involvement of parents.

6)         Rep. Messer (R-IN) Amendment #5 – Amendment requires state entities applying for Charter School Program grant funds to explain how they will work with eligible applicants within the state to encourage the opening, replication, and expansion of secondary charter schools.

7)         Reps. Grayson (D-FL), Clarke (D-NY), Wilson (D-FL) Amendment #2 – Amendment ensures that an application by a state entity to receive grants through the Charter School Program contains an assurance that charter schools will also measure student retention rates in their annual performance assessments – as well as graduation rates and student academic growth, as currently required by this bill.

8)         Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) Amendment #9 –  Amendment directs the website publication of materials on the websites of Charter Schools regarding student recruitment, orientation materials, enrollment criteria, student discipline policies, behavior codes, and parent contract requirements, which should include any financial obligations such as fees for tutoring, extra-circular activity, etc.

9)         Reps. Wilson (D-FL), Davis (R-IL), Duckworth (D-IL), Grayson (D-FL), McKinley (R-WV), and Fudge (D-OH) Amendment #12 – Amendment ensures collection and public dissemination of information that will help parents make informed decisions about education options for their children.

10)      Reps. Langevin (D-RI) and Thompson (R-PA) Amendment #13 – Amendment adds comprehensive career counseling to the criteria that the Secretary will take into account when prioritizing grants to LEAs.

11)      Rep. Bonamici (D-WA) Amendment #15 – Amendment clarifies the reporting requirements of State entities by asking State entities to include, to the extent known, whether efforts to share best and promising practices between charter schools and other schools led to the adoption and implementation of best practices by such other public schools.

12)      Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) Amendment #25 – Amendment requires State entities to report on how they have worked with funded charter schools to foster community involvement.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.