Thursday, March 30, 2017

First charter school applications could come in early 2018

This from Brad Hughes at KSBA: 
Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt has a goal to have the regulatory
process on House Bill 520 – the charter school law -- completed by the end of this year, allowing applicants to begin approaching local boards of education and/or the mayors of Lexington and Louisville in early 2018.

Pruitt and staff of the Kentucky Department of Education will give district officials insights into the law and its related procedures during an April 4 webinar. Other laws passed by the 2017 legislature also will be addressed during the event.

As HB 520 had no emergency clause, the new law signed by Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday didn’t take effect immediately. However, Pruitt told the KSBA eNews Service this week that KDE staff  already are at work on the complicated regulation-writing process.

“We won’t wait until the law takes effect in July. We’ll start developing the regulations now, but the formal regulatory process can’t start until a little later,” Pruitt said.

“We’re still working on the timeline of the regulatory process, but obviously we can’t afford to let grass grow under our feet, so we’re going to get going as fast as we can,” the commissioner said. “It takes about six months to get a regulation passed, but when that time frame starts depends on how long it takes us to get (the draft regulation) written.”

Along the way of the six-month process to final regulations, the department must conduct a public hearing, allowing questions to be raised or sections to be challenged. KDE staff consider the comments and produce an analysis for the Kentucky Board of Education. The KBE must have two readings on the proposed regulation, which also must be considered by the General Assembly’s regulatory review committee and the Interim Joint Education Committee.

Pruitt said, “Our goal will be to have the regulation completed by the end of 2017, so applications could be considered next spring if any charters are to open in the fall of 2018.”

The commissioner said the April 4 webinar will be designed to give district officials a solid foundation of understanding about the new law.

“It’s just going to be about what’s in the bill. We want to make sure that the accurate information is out there about HB 520,” Pruitt said.

Typically, KDE records its statewide webinars and archives them on the agency’s website for viewing by those unable to participate live.

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