Lankford, Scott Push Back on Anti-school Choice Rule that Negatively Impacts Charter Schools

WASHINGTON, DC  – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and 20 colleagues in introducing Congressional Review Act (CRA) legislation to nullify the Biden Administration’s new rules adding burdensome requirements to charter schools seeking funding.

“It’s vital for parents to pick the best education outcomes for their children from charter, public, private, parochial, home school, and others to make sure students can get what they need to succeed,” said Lankford. “The left wants parents out of the process of choosing what’s best for their kids’ education and instead wants Washington, DC, bureaucrats and teachers’ unions to make those choices. Biden’s Department of Education continues to make burdensome rules and use intimidation tactics to remove and restrict choices for parents. We should address the needs of our public schools everywhere, but we cannot leave kids behind while they wait on us.”

“Time and time again, this Administration has bowed to big-labor unions and liberal extremists at the expense of children’s futures. Now they are outdoing themselves with rules that will undermine charter schools — tuition-free, top-notch public education options that serve primarily disadvantaged students,” said Scott. “Support for these schools has never been a partisan issue. It’s time the administration put politics aside and joined parents in the fight for quality education.”

Lankford and Scott were joined by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rick Scott (R-FL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crap (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Todd Young (R-IN), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).

Earlier this year, the Department of Education announced new rules overhauling the 28-year-old, bipartisan Charter School Program (CSP). The changes would place federal, one-size-fits-all requirements on charter schools, making it difficult—if not impossible—for many of these high-quality public schools to receive funding. Despite substantial bipartisan backlash, the administration is moving ahead with its plans, which will strip families of education choice and give more power to big labor unions and bureaucrats in DC.

Lankford remains a strong school-choice and parental rights advocate that puts parents at the helm of their kids’ education. When these new rules were under consideration, he urged the Department of Education to reconsider proposed rules redefining the Charter School Program. He stood firmly for parental rights and school choice when he called for the Senate to immediately pass his resolution to support parents having the freedom to choose the best educational environment for their kids and remain in control of whether or not they want their children exposed to “woke” ideologies at school, including Critical Race Theory and others. Democrats blocked the Senate from unanimously standing up for American parents. Lankford introduced the resolution to recognize the need to stand up for parents’ choices in their children’s education during National School Choice Week earlier this year. 

Lankford introduced a resolution supporting parents’ rights after the Biden Administration politicized and weaponized the Justice Department by threatening to use federal law enforcement resources to intimidate and silence parents who speak out to protect their children from harmful curricula like Critical Race Theory being pushed by Biden and the far left. Lankford joined his colleagues to send a letter demanding answers from US Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on reports that he played a key role in orchestrating a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) that called concerned parents “domestic terrorists.” Lankford led a letter to the Department of Justice demanding that the Attorney General rescind the memorandum that weaponized federal law enforcement against concerned parents.