Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was once a supporter of charter schools.  But despite the growth of public charter schools and the success many have seen, Clinton voiced her concern over the schools in a recent interview in South Carolina.

“Most charter schools – I don’t want to say every one – but most charter schools, they don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them.  And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation, because they do, thankfully, take everybody, and then they don’t get the resources or the help and support that they need to be able to take care of every child’s education,” said Hillary Clinton

Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently came out with a statement saying that “in the 2013-14 school year, charter schools served a higher-percentage of low-income students (57%) – than district – run schools (52%) – and have better outcomes.”

Jeanne Allen, founder of The Center for Education Reform, also responded to Clinton’s statement.  “The vast majority of charter schools in the United States serve children who were not succeeding in their traditional public schools.  The vast majority of charter schools serve children who live in poverty, or close to poverty.  The vast majority of charter schools transform the lives of the kids they serve at a fraction of the cost of traditional public schools.  And the vast majority of charter schools not only have to fight to educate children, they have to fight the daily attacks from bureaucrats and special interests who place paychecks and adult jobs over the futures of disadvantaged kids.”

At least ten percent of students in the US attend public charter schools in more than 160 school districts nationwide.  

Clinton is endorsed by the two largest teachers unions in the country: The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.  Teachers unions usually take a strong stance against charter schools.