Wednesday, February 10, 2010

KBE punts on charter schools

“There is just as much data that says [charter schools]
are doing good things for kids as there is that says
they aren’t making a difference or are lower performing.”
“Until there’s a lot more consensus on national-level research,
I don’t think you can make the case that charter schools
are the answer or that charter schools are the problem.”

---Terry Holliday

This from Brad Hughes at KSBA:

Local school board authorization
would be critical to
state leaders' support

The Kentucky Board of Education Wednesday chose to take no position on creating charter schools in the state. But KBE members want more information on the matter should Kentucky’s lack of charter schools end up hurting its application for $200 million in federal Race to the Top funding.

And state board members agreed with Education Commissioner Terry Holliday that if charters are to be created in Kentucky, authorization by local boards of education would be key to their support.

“My sense of the board is that we don’t have a compelling desire for charter schools,” said KBE Chairman Joe Brothers, “but if that’s what it takes to get us in good stead with the federal government, it is very similar to a lot of things that we’ve been doing for 20 years, including site-based councils.”

Vice Chairwoman Dorie Combs agreed that the state board isn’t ready to take a position on charters…at this point.

”I think where we are is that before we do anything, we need more information. I would suggest staff continue to research this issue and, should we have a need to be more specific, bring us back together,” Combs said.

The state board discussion resulted from Holliday’s request for guidance as the 2010 legislative session progresses and the state awaits a March 1 notice of the status of its Race to the Top application.

“What if our score comes back and says, ‘You know, you would have been a finalist if you had had charter school legislation’? Holliday said. “So all I’m trying to do, as I told the KSBA conference, is preparing a Plan B. What would we do if we find the only reason we didn’t get Race to the Top funds is charter schools?” ...

“The biggest concern we all have about charters
is that they do take away resources from the local school district
…unless the local board is the authorizing agent.
I’ve been very clear from Day One that
the only charter legislation I would personally support
would require that the local board is the authorizing agent”
---Terry Holliday


Anonymous said...

Can you explain the last quote from Dr. Holliday? How does being the charter agent give the local district more resources? I understand that charter schools would have control over their own budget.

Richard Day said...

Well, generally it starts as a problem with losing one's economies of scale. But it soon can become fewer services for buses, no sports, ...and equity?

Well, whenever schools are underfunded, equity and excellence are forced to compete. That's bad for somebody.

Is it possible that African American students are being recruited to schools funded at lower levels than other public schools. Am I mistaken, or is that simply history repeating itself?

Keep you friends close...?

Anonymous said...

"take away resources from the local school district
…unless the local board is the authorizing agent."

I understand the economy of scale if the district gets to distribute the money. What I don't understand is if the charter school is in control of it's budget, how the local distict keeps it's economy of scale.