Bill Establishes Public Charter Schools in Kentucky

In the final ticks of the 2017 Regular Session, the Kentucky Legislature gave approval to a measure that reforms education in the Commonwealth.

Charter schools will now come to the Commonwealth, and the thousands of Kentucky students stuck in consistently low-performing schools will be given the opportunity to flourish just like their peers. 

House Bill 520 establishes public charter schools in Kentucky, which are innovative schools free from many state curriculum mandates.

Charter schools allow instructors to teach directly to the needs of individual students, with a preference for admission given to students on free or reduced lunch or in low-achieving school districts.

However, public charters will be required to follow the same requirements as traditional public schools as far as state testing, transparency, safety, and finance.

Further, local input is a critical part of this legislation, as the authorizing authority for the establishment of public charter schools rest with local school boards, as well as the mayors of Louisville and Lexington.

U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) commented, “I applaud the Kentucky General Assembly for passing charter school legislation. The flexibility offered by public charter schools encourages teachers and administrators to use good judgment in innovative ways to produce positive results for Kentucky children. Most importantly, public charter schools give parents additional options when selecting the school that is right for their child, particularly when they feel the needs of their child aren’t being met through the traditional public school model. We all know that parental involvement in the education of a child is of primary importance, which is why I support policies that empower parents with expanded options for meeting the education needs of their children.”

House Education Chairman Bam Carney labored on the bill, bringing interested parties to the table in order to improve Kentucky’s education system for all students.

House Bill 520 will now be sent to Governor Bevin, who is expected to sign it into law.


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