Back in 2008, President Obama promised to "double funding for the Federal Charter School Program to support the creation of more successful charter schools." Fast forward 8 years, and funding for charter schools has increased, but not by as much as Obama promised.
"Charter school" is an umbrella term for a variety of school types, but they all have certain traits in common:
As public schools, they offer free tuition, but they don't have to abide by state or school district rules.
Students choose to enroll in charter schools. This can include random lottery processes when schools are oversubscribed.
They must meet specific performance standards, outlined in a charter. If the school fails, the agency that authorized the school's existence can close it.
They receive public funding, but can also accept private donations.
They are not affiliated with a religion.
During the last year of President George W. Bush's administration, the budget for charter schools was $208 million. In 2016, it was $333.2 million. Despite the $125.2 million increase, that's not a doubling, which would be $416 million.
However, in December 2015 President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), replacing No Child Left Behind. This gives the states more power to judge student progress and a program to replicate high-quality charter schools, among other things.
States have to submit accountability plans to the Education Department, and ESSA is scheduled to begin in the 2017-18 school year.
It's too soon to tell how ESSA will affect charter schools in their day-to-day operations, said Gina Mahony, the senior vice president of government relations with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. But she feels funding will continue to increase annually, although it could vary based on the 2016 presidential election outcome.
Although the funding promise was not met fully, funding for charter schools did increase by $125.2 million and continues to increase. In addition, No Child Left Behind was replaced with the Every Student Succeeds Act, which included measures to increase the number of charter schools. We rate this promise Compromise.