A measure approved in the state Senate would allow for the creation of piloted charter schools in Kentucky's two largest cities. However, the bill is expected to run into heavier opposition in the House.
If enacted, up to five charter schools could open in Louisville and Lexington over the next five years. Senator Mike Wilson of Bowling Green, the bill’s sponsor, says the charters would be funded in the same way other public schools are supported with certified teachers in classrooms.
"It gives the principal freedom for hiring his own teachers for the school and gives the teachers the freedom not to work on all the compliance issues, but really do what they love to do, which is teach our kids," said Wilson.
Wilson believes charter schools could help address achievement gap concerns. Lexington Senator Gerald Thomas says he hasn't seen many requests for charters. "We've had no testimony from any parent saying that they feel a need for this legislation," said Thomas.