KY House Education Committee passes charter school bill

Caroline Beck
March 4, 2017

CSI is the state's only charter authorizer not part of a traditional school district.

A bill to bring public charter schools to Kentucky moved through the process Friday with passage through the House Education Committee and on the House floor.

Senate Bill 107 would grant sweeping powers to the governor to abolish every public educational governing board in Kentucky, including those at state universities, the Kentucky Board of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education.

The House Education Committee held a special meeting at 9 a.m. Friday to vote on House Bill 520. However, it could run into trouble in the Democratic-controlled state House, given opposition by the powerful state teachers union. "It's not about the students to anyone of those that are opposing this bill".

Kentucky Education and Workforce Secretary Hal Heiner also pointed to the high number of Kentucky students now performing behind grade level, adding that charter schools can help bring them up to speed through specialization and other flexibility options that public charter schools could provide. After Bevin answered that he would not, Marzian said no one would know for sure until he released his personal tax returns, as promised during his campaign.

VanOrden presented a bill that would remove term limits for members of the state Public Charter School Commission.

"Where do we go from here", another city resident who did not wish to provide his name said of essentially pulling the rug out from students and "plugging them into one of the few remaining high schools". For the sake of our children, let's take this important first step toward making amends.

The public charter schools will be open to all students in the area with preference given to students residing in the district, those who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch, and students attending persistently low-achieving schools.

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For more information on charter schools, check out NPR's Just What IS A Charter School, Anyway?

The bill is expected to progress easily through the Republican-dominated state Senate next week.

Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, said even though some charter schools have not lived up to their promises, majority "are beneficial to the children of New Mexico". First and foremost, we must ensure a quality education is accessible to all children in all neighborhoods, and work to close student learning gaps.

Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Educators' Association, became emotional in her testimony, saying that none of the 43 other states that offer charter schools have eliminated their achievement gaps.

"In the last two years not a single student in the middle grades met or exceeded grade level expectations in math", a letter from Harrington to charter President Edmond George reads. I urge the General Assembly to only implement those charter characteristics that have been proven to deliver successful results.

"I really tried to come up with a proposal that dropped a lifeline into the some of the communities that really, really need some innovation and some reform in their schools", said state Sen. The language also needs to specify that it is the mayor of Louisville's consolidated metro government that is a charter authorizer, and not all 83 mayors within Louisville.

"We are a very different school and some of our differences make it hard for people to put things in context and judge us accurately".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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