charter schools

At  a legislative event hosted by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the divisive issue of charter schools and parent choice took center stage.

As one of eight states without charter school legislation on its books, the debate in Kentucky is only getting louder as the January session of the General Assembly draws closer.

More than half of Kentuckians contacted for a new survey released this week say they’re undecided on whether the state’s public education system would improve with charter schools.

But a majority of the 501 voting households surveyed support more school options and certain characteristics that set charter schools apart from traditional public schools.

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A Kentucky legislative education committee will hold a public hearing on charter schools this week.  The request came from the Kentucky Charter Schools Association, which was created by its chairman, Hal Heiner, this year. 

Heiner says for the past three years charter school legislation has been rejected by the state legislature and House Democrats on  the education committee have refused to give charter schools a fair hearing. 

A Kentucky legislative education committee will hold a public hearing on charter schools next week.

The request came from the Kentucky Charter Schools Association, which was created by its chairman, Hal Heiner, this year. Heiner said for the past three years charter school legislation has been rejected by the state legislature. He said House Democrats on  the education committee have refused to give charter schools a fair hearing.

A proposal that would create a special panel to authorize charter schools in five of the Tennessee's lowest performing counties appears to be struggling in the legislature.

The measure was delayed in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday after members expressed concerns about the need for a new entity that will pay its executive director more than $100,000.  Currently local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application.

Kentucky Senate OKs Charter School Bill

Mar 6, 2013

Voting along strict party lines, the Kentucky Senate has approved a bill that would allow persistently low-performing public schools to become charter schools.

The idea for a new state-level panel that could authorize charter schools to operate anywhere in Tennessee is moving ahead, while facing bi-partisan resistance. The House Education Committee gave its blessing Tuesday, though two Republicans voted against it.

The GOP lawmakers opposing what is seen as an end-run around local school boards are educators themselves. Rep. Jim Coley teaches in Shelby County. 

“Increasingly we’re taking those decisions away from local education associations, and I don’t think that’s right.”

Kentucky persistently low-achieving schools would be able to become charter schools to improve performance and test scores under a bill discussed Tuesday in the state Senate Education Committee.

A charter school bill has been filed in the Kentucky House and supporters hope the less aggressive approach will help get it passed this year.

Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville , crafted the law with help from the Kentucky Charter School Project. It’s a coalition including several organizations that have argued for charter schools the past couple years.

Governor Haslam Won't Sign Foreign Employment Limit Bill

May 3, 2012

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says he will allow a bill seeking to limit the number of foreign workers at charter schools to become law without his signature. Haslam says he questions the constitutionality of the measure and doesn't want to harm the state's efforts to improve education standards. But he notes the bill is "permissive and not mandatory," so he will let it become law while he asks for a formal legal opinion from the attorney general. 

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