Local News Politics

Charter schools made big news in Kentucky last year when the state failed to win federal Race to the Top dollars for educational improvement.

Some top education officials argued the state would have faired better if it had charter schools, which are granted regulatory waivers in exchange for high performance.

House Education Committee Chairman Carl Rollins doesn’t buy that argument.

“I still don’t think they work nationwide. And I don’t think they would work in Kentucky. They certainly wouldn’t work in rural areas and most of our counties are rural. The only place they would have any chance of working would be in urban areas. And I don’t think they’re a good idea. I think it takes our focus away from making our public schools better,” he says.

Rollins doesn’t appear inclined to take up a Senate Republican-backed charter schools bill approved in January. But he’s signaling he soon will offer an alternative to the Senate bill.