Friday, October 23, 2009

charter schools coming to KY?

From Chris Kenning in the C-J...

The idea of charter schools has long failed to gain traction in Kentucky — but that could be changing.

Two bills to authorize charter schools have been filed for the coming General Assembly, and the Kentucky Department of Education is currently studying the pros and cons.

Supporters say momentum is building because without such legislation, Kentucky could lose out on up to $200 million in federal stimulus money aimed at education reform and innovation....

Pioneered in Minnesota in 1992, charter schools are independent public schools that get taxpayer funding but aren’t held to many of the rules and regulations that apply to regular schools.

In exchange for more autonomy, charter schools must meet academic goals and are held accountable by a sponsor, usually a school board, a state or a university, which can cancel the contract if academic goals aren’t met — and close the school....

But opponents were already lining up Monday to oppose the push for charter schools.

Jefferson County Teachers Association president Brent McKim vowed to lobby against the bills, which he said would siphon money from public schools, skim off the best students and complicate student assignment.

“They’re not really about empowering schools,” he said of charter schools. “They’re really about undermining public schools by diverting funds and resources.”

McKim is willing to undermine parents and students in order to avoid "undermining schools"?

State per-pupil funding would follow the students who attend the charter schools...



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