Kentucky House passes bill on charter schools

Posted March 04, 2017

Deputy State Superintendent Angela Stallings said the bill was circled on the Senate's second reading calendar "and it doesn't appear like it's moving anywhere from there".

The House also passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green, which provide the state Labor Secretary broad discretion about what wage complaints to investigate - or whether to investigate.

Several committee members recommended VanOrden bring the bill back for a vote Monday or Tuesday.

It is unclear how Friday's dustup affects the bill's prospects.

Critics of the charter school have long complained that minorities are underrepresented in the charter school, contributing to an over-representation of minorities in the public school district, where the population is also more economically challenged than the charter school's enrollment.

The Kentucky House and Senate are scheduled to continue passing bills through Wednesday, then recess until March 14, when they will return for two days of voting on "concurrence" - deciding whether or not to agree with any changes that have been made to their bills by the other chamber.

According to a report by the non-profit think tank A+ Colorado, charter schools - both online and brick-and-mortar - saw booms in enrollment that far outpaced growth at traditional districts between 2011 and 2015.

Enrollment has risen in the past five years because of continued charter expansions in rural and suburban areas, successful efforts to replicate some of the most effective charters and a confidence in some of the strongest charters, Nathan said.

In its 2016 School Information Card assessment, the Camden School District notes that Camden Community Charter School was one of three that did not participate in the survey that ranked academic performance with an on-site visit.

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House Bill 151 would permit children to attend the school nearest their home, causing concern in Louisville, where a racial desegregation plan involves moving some children outside of their neighborhoods to create greater classroom diversity.

They would have to be authorized by local school boards and adhere to some state regulations, but would be exempt from many other regulations public schools must follow. This was a point of contention Friday.

"Based on recommendations and my review, I am denying your request", Harrington said in the letters dated February 28.

McClure appeared taken aback, said she has never been in this position before and said she felt "terribly disheartened" to hear anyone felt misled.

Supporters, however, said charters succeed in giving choices to parents and have boosted student success, especially among disadvantaged students.

Charter schools have come under scrutiny in various communities in recent months.

McClure also said she wracked her brain and could not remember making any misleading statements, and said she would be really disappointed in herself if she had misled other lobbyists. However, it could run into trouble in the Democratic-controlled state House, given opposition by the powerful state teachers union. Calling the bill exceedingly complicated, Stark said nobody has been given the time to properly vet the bill and determine its effects.

Six of the bills have a connection to K-12.

If approved, the Albert Einstein EnergySmart Charter School would have replicated the curriculum of Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School in Franklin, which was recently mentioned in a Bergen Record story looking at charter school officials and their relationships to Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet movement, which Turkey's President Recep Erdogan blamed for the country's recent coup attempt.