The National Education Association says a proposal to eliminate the expansion of public schools and open them to private students could create a “tough economic and social climate” for schools that would hurt students’ quality of life.
The proposal is one of several that the NEA is circulating, including one that would eliminate funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods and create a new system of charter schools in high-income areas.
The idea has been circulating for years, but was not part of the group of proposals released Thursday.
The NEA said it is sending the proposals to the U.S. Education Department for review.
It was not immediately clear if it was aware of the Education Department review.
A new report released Thursday by the Education Policy Institute, an education advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., said that “schools that expand their enrollment beyond the traditional charter model will face more challenges than those that retain traditional schools.”
The report said schools that expand beyond traditional charter models “will face fewer choices and lower quality of service.”
The Education Department released a report earlier this month estimating that charter schools are in the process of losing $4 billion to $6 billion a year, but that they have an “unprecedented” ability to increase their enrollment.
That report also said charter schools can have a positive impact on school quality.
The Education Policy Forum said in a statement that the proposed plan would “take away critical tools to improve education, including a strong focus on the educational needs of students and families.”
The proposal would also eliminate a school’s ability to award charter school contracts to non-profit entities and would force all private schools to open to students, regardless of the number of students enrolled.