Hudson Visits Union Academy

MONROE — Congressman Richard Hudson, R-8, visited Union Academy on Wednesday to tour the facility and talk to students, faculty and staff. 

Hudson is a member of the Education and the Workforce committee and sits on the Workforce Protections and High Education and Workforce Training subcommittees. 

Earlier this month, the committee approved the Success and Opportunities through Quality Charter Schools Act (H.R. 10). The legislation merges two existing programs, one that provided grants for charter schools developers and one that helped charter schools access better credit, into one program. 

The new program provides grants to state educational agencies, state charter school boards, the Governor of a state or a support organization. The grants support the expansion of existing schools and the creation of new schools. The program also provides facilities aid to continue credit enhancement and national activities that allow grant competitions and assistance. 

In addition the legislation clarifies language from the existing law and authorizes a charter management organization. The act authorizes $300 million for fiscal years 2015 through 2020. 

Hudson said in an interview that he enjoys visiting schools and getting a feeling for what they are doing and hearing from the students.

“I want to make it easier to increase the number of charter schools,” he said. He said the act looks to encourage innovation, share best practices and increase flexibility. 

Hudson said fewer decisions should be made by “bureaucrats” and more made by the parents and staff. 

Hudson explained to the group of students, staff and faculty that he worked with Robin Hayes when the school started. 

“I’ve followed the growth of this school and this is an incredible school,” he said. 

He explained that as the son of a teacher he has seen first-hand the successes and difficulties in education. 

“I’d like to see every school in America be a charter school,” he said. 

Headmaster Ann Walters said getting involved with Union Academy was the best decision for her because they have choices. Another teacher said the school does a great job of raising money, but he thinks their funding should be equal with public schools in order to hire the best teachers and to offer students the resources they need. 

The Quality Charter Schools Act now moves to the full House of Representatives for approval. 

Monroe Enquirer Journal, By: Carolyn Steeves

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