The Kentucky House gave final approval to House Bill 520 late Wednesday, sending the historic expansion of educational options in the Bluegrass State to Governor Matt Bevin’s desk. The Senate approved the bill earlier in the day.
With the Governor’s signature, Kentucky would become the 44th state in the nation to authorize public charter schools. Nationally, more than 3 million students currently attend charter schools in 43 states.
Charter schools are public schools that provide more opportunities to meet the unique needs of families and students, plus greater flexibility and accountability for school teachers and leaders. The bill, sponsored by House Education Committee Chairman Bam Carney, allows public charter schools to open in Kentucky in the 2018-19 school year.
The bill provides local school boards and the mayors of Kentucky’s two largest cities – Louisville and Lexington – with the authority to review and approve the opening of public charter schools. The bill also allows the State Board of Education to review denials.
“Lawmakers are listening to Kentucky families who know that educational choices will allow their children to be better prepared for success in college, career and life. This legislation will empower families and lead to a brighter future for Bluegrass students. We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Carney and the strong support from a broad coalition of advocates.” – J. Alex Kelly, ExcelinEd in Action National Legislative Director.
Support for the legislation has come from a wide variety of organizations, including Americans for Prosperity Kentucky, the Campaign for School Equity, the Kentucky Chamber, the Kentucky Charter School Project, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and ExcelinEd in Action.
To learn more about charter schools, visit ExcelinEd’s School Choice Policy Library.