Friday, January 13, 2012

Pro Charter Group meets with C-J Editors

UK Prof Wayne Lewis tells C-J Editors 
that poor kids are "sentenced" to bad schools

This from The Courier-Journal:

Former Louisville mayoral candidate Hal Heiner is leading a campaign to allow charter schools to be established in Kentucky.

Heiner has formed a nonprofit organization, Kentuckians Advocating Reform in Education, to push the General Assembly to allow for charter schools. Among its efforts is a $120,000 ad campaign on television and radio.

The former Metro Council member said his advocacy was born of concern about the Jefferson County Public School system’s dropout rate, as well as other education issues frequently raised when he ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2010.

Charter schools take different forms in each state, but they typically are operated with public funds by groups independent of local school systems. They do not have to abide by the same regulations as public schools, allowing for more hours in the school day, more class days and greater flexibility in instruction...

A bill authorizing charter schools passed the state Senate last year, but the House has not taken up such proposals. Rep. Carl Rollins, a Midway Democrat and chairman of the House Education Committee, said that, while he opposes charter schools, he’s considering bringing a bill sponsored by Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville, to the committee this session.

“I think it dilutes our focus,” Rollins said of charter schools. “I know we need to improve a lot of our schools, but at the same time I don’t think competition — starting new schools from scratch to compete with our public schools — is the way to solve the problem.”

Rollins said he’s considering bringing the bill up because of the longstanding support for charter schools among legislative Republicans and the Obama administration, and he thinks it’s worth debating.

“It doesn’t hurt to have a discussion and talk about it,” he said...

Heiner said he prefers only nonprofit organizations being granted charters and for the schools to be targeted to high-poverty communities. Parents would have to apply for their children to attend the schools, and a lottery would determine who gets in if applications exceed available spots, he said.

Religious groups would not be eligible to apply for charters, Burgan said...

Heiner said he is KARE’s largest contributor, and the other members are “Kentucky individuals.” Asked for a list of donors, Heiner said he’d consult with them to see if they want their names to be made public...

No comments:

Post a Comment