Sen. Bernie Sanders will call for a ban on building for-profit charter schools in a major education policy address to be delivered Saturday in South Carolina, a senior campaign official for the 2020 presidential contender tells USA TODAY.
Additionally, Sanders will pledge to impose a moratorium on using taxpayer funds on charter school expansion in communities if he’s elected president, a position that the NAACP has been advocating.
The speech by Sanders comes one day after the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling handed down by the Supreme Court, which ruled segregation in public schools to be illegal.
“Our school system can no longer put up fences for black and brown children,” Sanders said in an op-ed in the Asheville Citizen-Times, part of the USA TODAY Network, published Friday. “On this 65th anniversary of the Brown vs Board of Education decision, we are going to tear down those barriers and create an education system that works for all people, not just the wealthy and powerful.”
Charters are publicly funded but privately run, and have grown in popularity around the country since their inception more than 25 years ago. Advocates say their relative independence – they face fewer instructional and bureaucratic regulations, and are largely free from collective bargaining – allow educators to innovate.
Advocates for charter schools blasted the Sanders’ proposal.