Education
1:20 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Advocates Support Toned-Down Kentucky Charter School Law

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.

Spokesman Joe Burgan says the bill attempts to appease opposition in the General Assembly by offering a trial run first.

“There is one big difference from past legislation and that is that this is a pilot program," he says.

Under the law, 75 schools would be allowed to apply for charter status over a five-year period, according to Burgan.

Forty-two states have some form of charter school legislation, but Kentucky has been unable to garner support. Burgan says historically teachers unions have opposed charter laws, making it difficult to get them passed.

Last year, charter legislation received a hearing in the House Education Committee for the first time.

Under the bill proposal, the pilot program would begin during the 2014-2015 school year.