Archive for Friday, March 15, 2013

Charter schools bill fails in Kansas House committee

March 15, 2013


— With both sides claiming they wanted what was best for students, a bill that would have expanded charter schools in Kansas was rejected on Friday.

House Bill 2320 failed on a 9-10 vote in the House Education Committee.

"This adds to public education and choices for children," said Committee chairwoman Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, who was pushing for passage of the legislation.

But opponents criticized parts of the bill that said the new charter schools wouldn't be required to hire certified teachers, and they voiced fears that the schools would skim off top students from the public school system.

"I see this as a very dangerous trend for a district like mine," said state Rep. Melissa Rooker, R-Fairway.

Kelley responded that legislators should focus on helping students. Rooker said it was important that "we don't do damage to the public school that is for every student."

Charter schools are already allowed in Kansas but they operate within a school district and are subject to accreditation requirements. The Lawrence Virtual School is a charter school.

HB 2320 would have allowed any public or private post-secondary institution, the governing board of a city, county or local school board to authorize charter schools, which would be exempt from many state laws and regulations.

Only Republicans voted for the bill, while a mix of Republicans and Democrats voted against it.


Greg Cooper 5 years, 2 months ago

Good God, a modicum of intelligence, at last.

Keep it up, Legislature. Maybe there is hope for Kansas, after all.

Nah, never mind.

imin88limbo 5 years, 2 months ago

Thank goodness! Rs and Ds in Kansas is the best news in these parts yet!

weeslicket 5 years, 2 months ago

whhaaaaatt?? they whaat?

how is such a result possible in our state?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree. Sometimes even a blind pig can find an acorn. Under current law any school board can start a charter school that meets local needs. Without a local board, I assume the State Board of Education would supervise the charter schools. They have neither the time nor the expertise to do so. Article Six of the Kansas Constitution notes:

5: Local public schools. Local public schools under the general supervision of the state board of education shall be maintained, developed and operated by locally elected boards. When authorized by law, such boards may make and carry out agreements for cooperative operation and administration of educational programs under the general supervision of the state board of education, but such agreements shall be subject to limitation, change or termination by the legislature.

We know what this gang thinks of the Constitution, but they should leave well enough alone.

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