Scott Champions Legislation to Develop New Charter Schools, Expand Educational Opportunity

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and six of his Senate colleagues in introducing the Empower Charter School Educators to Lead Act, which would authorize existing federal funding to help states streamline the application process for opening new charter schools.

“Every child – no matter their zip code – should have access to an education that sets them up to live out their version of the American Dream,” said Senator Scott. “That’s why millions of families have turned to the high-quality education provided by charter schools to offer a better future for their child. Making it easier to open first-rate charter schools in the communities that need them most will ensure more students have access to the educational opportunities best suited for them.”

“Charter schools are an important part of America’s education system, but the process to start one is often bogged down by red tape,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would make the application process more efficient for teachers, school administrators, and nonprofits interested in opening a charter school and help give parents more choices for their children’s education.”

“The Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina stands firmly in support of the Empower Charter School Educators to Lead Act,” said Kevin Mason, Executive Director of Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina, which has endorsed this legislation. “This crucial legislation empowers us to invest in the future of education by using CSP grants to support the development of high-quality charter applications. We believe that by providing pre-planning awards to prospective charter applicants and their supporting organizations, we can catalyze innovation and excellence in our state’s public charter school system, ensuring a brighter future for South Carolina’s students.”


The Empower Charter School Educators to Lead Act would:

  • Authorize state entities receiving Federal Charter Schools Programs (CSP) grants to make pre-planning awards in amounts of no more than $100,000 to prospective applicants, or public or nonprofit entities that will support prospective applicants, provided they:
    • Are led by educators with at least five years of school-based experience;
    • Have successfully completed the development of an initial plan for the opening of a public charter school; and
    • Have not yet submitted a proposal for approval of a charter to an authorized public chartering agency.
  • Permit state entities to use up to 5% of their grant funds for those pre-planning awards;
  • Raise the cap on the percentage of state entities’ grant funds that may be used for technical assistance and quality improvement activities from 7% to 10%;
  • Raise the cap on the percentage that may be used for state administration from 3% to 5%; and
  • Clarify that states’ technical assistance activities may include assistance in locating and accessing a facility.