Democrats propose alternative to charter schools dereg bill

(Cross-posted from Legislative Watch).

State House members and an array of education officials from across the state – including state Superintendent June Atkinson – promoted an alternative to the charter school deregulation bill that has passed the Senate in a press event this afternoon.

In leading off the event, State Rep. Rick Glazier called the Senate Bill an “un-amendable” effort that was little more than “vouchers wrapped up in a charter proposal.” He said that the bill represented a terribly flawed effort to “abandon public schools.”

Glazier said that the alternative would, among other things:

  • Eliminate the cap on the number of charter schools (currently 100),
  • Make the Charter School Commission subject to real oversight by the State Board of Education,
  • Provide for clearer guidance regarding accountability,
  • Provide strict teacher certification requirements for low performing schools,
  • Prevent the hiring of teachers who have had their certifications revoked, Require that all charters have a minimum number of students,
  • Prevent schools from taking public funds for transportation and free and reduced priced lunches.  

In short, Glazier and others called for returning charters to their original purpose as laboratories of replicable experimentation rather than competitors that are out to undermine public schools by luring away desirable students and engaged parents.

At this point, House Republicans plan on taking up the Senate version tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.

 

3 Comments

  1. Jeff S

    March 8, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Seems to make sense, but I’m sure he’ll get a lot of resistance.

    Dismantling the public system is the whole purpose – though I doubt he’ll get anyone to actually admit it.

  2. Angela Farthing

    March 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I am glad to see positive leadership try to ensure a level playing and learning field for all children. There are good things happening in many charter schools. There are good things happening in many traditional schools. To allow no government oversight and to have funds to flow one way and not both is totally wrong and no matter the party line, leaders need to think rationally about what they are doing. It is sad that some leaders want our state to go backwards to a time that was not bright and wonderful for our state.

  3. Dot Kearns

    March 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Changes to the current Charter School legislation should purport to increase innovatiion which can be evaluated and shared within traditional public schools and should not threaten existing resources or other support for public education. These principles can’t be upheld if large numbers of new charter schools are begun at once.

    The nation’s longstanding commitment to the education of ALL students who enter public schools is the major bulwark of our republic. It is a huge challenge to meet the academic needs of the brightest, the poorest, the most handicapped and all other children who enroll even in the best of economic times–and daunting now.For the future well-being of our country, we must be competitive globally; thus it is imperative that public schools be strengthened–not weakened.