Charter School Legislation Advances To House

Mar 25, 2014

41 of Kentucky’s chronically low-achieving schools could form charter schools under a bill adopted by the state Senate Tuesday.

Senate Bill 211 would enable schools with a 60 percent graduation rate or lower to seek the charter designation.

"It's only allowed in conversions for these low-achieving schools and schools do remain accountable to the local board. That is who the contract is with. And it's only for a period of five years," bill sponsor Sen. Mike Wilson said.

The measure, which has died previously in the Democratic-controlled House, is unpopular with some teachers’ unions, who worry about a takeover of public schools by for-profit entities.

Sen. Gerald Neal told the chamber Tuesday that charter schools are not a “magic bullet.”

"I think what is needed is a lengthy, in-depth discussion of all that are interested. Disband the name 'charter school' because it's deceptive and a political statement in and of itself and it's being used as such. Let's have a serious discussion about how to advance our children in our schools," Neal said.

The measure passed the Senate 22 to 14.