Charter schools — a type of public school that is independently operated and whose staff is often non-unionized — have long been a divisive issue within Democratic circles. Now, they're increasingly falling out of favor with the party's current crop of presidential candidates, NBC News reports.
"Charter schools are led by unaccountable, private bodies, and their growth has drained funding from the public school system," Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign said in a press release.
"For-profit charter schools should not be part of our vision for the future," South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg told reporters. "And I think the expansion of charter schools in general is something that we need to really draw back on until we've corrected what needs to be corrected in terms of underfunded public education."
Several candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have also criticized for-profit charters, a narrower status that the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools claims applies to only 12 percent of schools. The dominant stance in the field, however, has been indifference.