Representatives from the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) are asking state lawmakers to move forward with charter school legislation this year.
BAEO representatives held a forum at Quinn Chapel Church in west Louisville Monday night. Nearly 50 people attended the event, where advocates rallied in support of charter school legislation. The key note speaker was Dr. Howard Fuller, a former superintendent of Milwaukee Public School District and co-founder of BAEO.
Before addressing the forum, Fuller told WFPL that passing legislation is only the first step in establishing charter schools and only well-run charters will help the commonwealth.
“You have to create a great school. The actual innovation of chartering isn’t necessarily the school, it is who can start the school. That’s really the innovation. The innovation is the chartering process, not necessarily the school,” said Fuller.
Opponents argue charter schools will pull money away from public schools and will prevent teachers from earning fair wages and equal job opportunities because they are not subject to the same rules as traditional public schools.
A benefit to charter schools, said Fuller, is if the school is failing it can be easily closed.
Kentucky is one of a handful of states that haven’t allowed charters, but the issue hasn’t been resolved, he said.
“This is a long term battle and the people need to understand that for whatever reason it doesn’t pass this year we’re not going away and so we’re going to keep pushing and we’re going to keep pushing,” he said.
BAEO will testify before the House Education Committee Tuesday morning.