Friday, February 29, 2008

if not Pell Grants, how about charter schools-- to promote a little more competition?

A press-release from BIPPS (the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions) on efforts to allow charter schools in Kentucky (with one interesting exception)...

A school-choice bill filed Tuesday by Rep. Stan Lee would add Kentucky to a growing list of states with charter schools.

House Bill 578 would allow local school boards, universities or local governments to sponsor charter schools – public schools operated by groups of parents, teachers, other individuals or private organizations.

More than 40 states, including six of the seven states bordering Kentucky, offer parents the option of enrolling students in charter schools....

Charter schools operate free of many of government restrictions, including teacher-union hiring mandates, which hamper some traditional public schools. These schools have more flexibility in approach and policy, including theme-based core curricula, longer school days, requiring parental involvement and using alternative teaching techniques.

The release then quotes Pastor Jerry Stephenson, chairman of Values Coalition U.S.A., "a leader of Louisville’s black community", and a minister at Louisville’s Midwest Church of Christ:

Education was a hallmark of the Civil Rights Movement. Civil-rights leaders like Dr. King believed that education was the key to bringing our people to the promised land to enjoy the richness of this nation...Charter schools, we believe is the option that would allow the community, the family, the education system and the faith community to regain the value of education – not only for African-American children but for all children in our community.”


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