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Pushing for charters – Billionaire lobbies for approval

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen wants to see more innovation and opportunity in America’s public schools — and says charter schools can make that happen, the Associated Press reports. 

Allen, who invests in private companies that provide educational programs, wants to persuade Washington to join 36 states in authorizing charter schools, AP says. 

Allen’s clout in Washington is well known: His last lobbying push resulted in the construction of a $450 million football stadium for the state’s pro football team. 

Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are not limited by by most district and state rules.

Schools are founded when nonprofit sponsors secure a contract from a school district to receive $4,800 per student in state money, AP says. 

Opponents fear charter schools will be poorly regulated and will drain resources from public schools. 

Presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush, as well as both parties in the house, back charter programs.   

The son of educators, Allen attended private school with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. 

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