Topeka Senate education leaders Thursday criticized a proposal by the State Board of Education that would allow charter schools to operate without local school board approval.
"The true place for charter oversight should be with the local district," Sen. Ruth Teichman, R-Stafford, said.
Kansas Education Commissioner Bob Corkins briefed the Senate Education Committee on the State Board of Education's legislative recommendations for the 2006 session.
One proposal would give organizations wanting to start a charter school the ability to appeal to the State Board of Education if the local school board denied the charter. Currently, the local board has final say-so on granting a charter.
The appeal process would "facilitate a fair, collaborative negotiation," Corkins said.
Corkins said the lack of an appeal avenue has had a "chilling effect" on the startup of more charter schools.
There currently are 26 charter schools in Kansas. These are schools that are generally focused on a certain population of students, such as those who have had trouble in a traditional school setting.
But under questioning from lawmakers, Corkins said he had no evidence local school boards were being unfair in denying charters.
Corkins also received some heat when outlining the education board's proposal to fund all-day kindergarten statewide at a cost of $77 million.
Lawmakers criticized the board for not suggesting how to raise the funds.
"It's very easy to propose new programs when you don't have the responsibility to fund them," Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, said.