Charter Schools Eliminated From Bill

Charter schools won’t be in Kentucky’s application for federal funds to assist struggling public schools.

Inclusion of charter schools possibly could have boosted Kentucky’s chances of landing $245 million in federal funds to help rescue persistently, low-achieving schools. Charter schools are publicly funded, but are freed from some state regulations in exchange for greater accountability.

But the charter school issue died on a tie vote in the Senate Education committee Wednesday. That pleases House Education Committee Chairman Carl Rollins, a charter school opponent.

“In 17% of the cases, the students do better in charter schools. In 37% of the cases, they do worse than they would in public schools. And in 46% of the cases, there’s no significant difference,” he said.

After the bill, without charter schools, cleared the Senate, the House quickly passed it 95-0 and sent it to the governor. The state has until Tuesday to apply for federal Race to the Top dollars. The state should receive at least $45 million for just applying.