(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.