Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Matt Bevin signs charter schools bill into law

This from the Courier-Journal:
Gov. Matt Bevin signed the hotly debated charter schools bill into law on Tuesday, according to the online legislative record.

Bevin's signature on House Bill 520 comes as no surprise, because the governor made the bill authorizing charter schools in Kentucky his top priority in the latter part of the legislative session, testifying for it before both the House and Senate education committees.

The bill was vigorously debated throughout the legislative session and in its final form ultimately passed the Senate 23-15 and the House 53-43.

It will allow local school districts as well as the mayors of Louisville and Lexington to authorize an unlimited number of charter schools, the first of which are not expected to open until the 2018-19 school year.

Proponents say charter schools will give some parents the choice to send their children to a school that better serves their children's needs and can boost the performance among poor and vulnerable students. But opponents say the new law will take money from underfunded traditional public schools and does not explicitly require charter schools to target underprivileged students.

The General Assembly also passed a bill which would transfer state and federal education funds to cover the costs of students at charter schools. But that bill, House Bill 471, was not yet signed by Bevin, according to the online legislative record as of mid-day Wednesday.

Over at the Prichard Blog!, Susan Weston has been ferreting out the budget for charters and estimates (using 2106-17 numbers) that the average per student allocation would be somewhere around $7,178. 
  • *$1,027 per student for school employee health insurance 
  • $574 per student for certified employee retirement
  • $2 per student for employee life insurance           
  • $1,603 per student for the three kinds of benefits

RELATED:GOP blindsides Democrats with surprise bill to fund charter schools

► Kentucky, stand up for your public schools | Ravitch
► Why I was wrong about charter schools | Hornbeck
►  Charter schools equals a lack of control 
► Charter schools bill has 80% shot of passing, lawmaker says
► JCPS board: Mayor Greg Fischer 'blindsided' us with charter schools stance
► School boards group opposing current charter bill


Richard Innes said...

I'm surprised and somewhat disappointed that your listing of "Related" articles are almost all negative ones (with, at best one neutral one).

Not one positive article in the group from anyone like Hal Heiner (, Jeanne Allen (, etc.

Richard Day said...

I must tell you that I had issues with both Heiner and Allen's pieces and have a rough draft of a response to both...but I haven't been able to get around to finishing it. You are correct, they should not be overlooked, particularly since the law has passed and Republicans now own ed policy in Ky - and must show improved results.