Statement on Secretary King’s Support of Charter School Expansion

Statement on U.S. Secretary of Education John King’s Support of Charter School Expansion 

BOSTON – On Wednesday afternoon, United States Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. expressed his support to lift “arbitrary” caps that limit the expansion of high-quality public charter schools, such as those currently in place in Massachusetts. 

Secretary King, who helped found Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston, said, "I think any arbitrary cap on the growth of high-performing charters is a mistake in terms of our goal of trying to improve opportunity for all kids.” Later, Secretary King stated further that his opposition to limiting educational opportunities applies to both the NAACP’s recently passed resolution calling for a moratorium on public charter schools and efforts to oppose Ballot Question 2 in Massachusetts.

In response to Secretary King’s reaffirmation of his support for public charter schools, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) released the following statement:

“Secretary King knows, better than most, the real life consequences of denying kids access to a high-quality public education,” said Liam Kerr, State Director of Democrats for Education Reform. “The Secretary’s comments are in line with the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to growing and replicating high-performing public charter schools and ensuring more children across the nation have access to the world-class public education they deserve. Indeed, here in Massachusetts, it was President Obama's Race to the Top initiative that inspired the most recent charter cap lift signed by Governor Patrick in 2010.” 

Last week, Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton reaffirmed her support for high-quality charter schools, like those here in Massachusetts. 

Next Wednesday, Secretary King’s predecessor under President Obama, former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, will headline Democrats for Education Reform’s Education Party in Boston. Secretary Duncan has been a long-time supporter of, and advocate for, high-quality public charter schools, both as Secretary and during his time as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. 

Question 2, a Ballot question that will be decided this November, seeks to lift the cap on public charter schools. Currently, more than 30,000 students are on waiting lists for access to public charter schools in Massachusetts. Democrats for Education Reform is advocating for passage of the measure. 

###