A bill that would open the door to charter schools in Kentucky has passed the state Senate, although similar legislation has previously failed to gain traction in the Democratic-led House.
The measure passed by a 22-14 party line vote—not unlike the vote last year.
The bill would allow certified teaching staff and parents to petition the principal of a low-achieving school for a vote on whether a privately run charter organization should be in charge of the school.
State Sen. Mike Wilson, a Bowling Green Republican, sponsored the bill.
“It’s only allowed in conversions for these low-achieving schools, and schools do remain accountable to the local board, who is, that who is the contract is with, and it’s only for a period of five years," he says.
State Sen. Gerald Neal, a Democrat from Louisville, spoke against the bill on the Senate floor. He took issue with the notion that charter schools are a cure-all for education.
“Disband the name ‘charter school’ because it’s deceptive and a political statement in and of itself, and it’s being used as such, and let’s have a serious discussion about how to advance our children in our schools to be all that they can possibly be, and contribute all that they can contribute to their lives and to the life of the commonwealth," he says.
The bill now heads to the House, where it will likely not pass, meeting the same fate as it did last year.