Give President Joe Biden’s administration credit: It listened to outraged parents (and editorialists) and decided to scrap provisions of a proposed regulation that would have made it far more difficult to open and expand public charter schools. The reversal is a victory for families nationwide, especially in urban areas where charters are most commonly found.
The original proposal, issued by the Department of Education, could have prevented public charter schools from opening in communities where existing schools are under-enrolled. Yet the very reason some schools are under-enrolled is that they are failing, forcing parents to seek other options. Some decide to home school. Some who can afford the tuition payments choose private school. But those options are off-limits to most families, leaving too many children — often in Black and Latino communities — trapped, badly damaging their career prospects and setting back the work of building a more racially equitable society.