Bevin pledges support to charter school proposition - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bevin pledges support to charter school proposition

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Governor Matt Bevin is reaffirming his commitment to push for charter schools in Kentucky.

Bevin, along with Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton, met with the Kentucky Pastors in Action in Coalition, or K-PAC, in west Louisville Tuesday evening. Leaders with K-PAC have long pushed for charter schools, particularly in Louisville’s west end.

“K-PAC is calling on the governor to give west Louisville and African Americans throughout Kentucky input into the direction of state government can take to improve the lives of African American Families,” said Pastor Jerry L. Stephenson with K-PAC.

Kentucky is one of seven states that does not allow charter schools to be created, according to Bevin. Charter schools receive public funding but operate independently of a school system. Bevin believes charter schools could create a better option for students and parents.

“Does that mean that’s the number one solution? I can't say that,” Bevin said. “But you have to start somewhere.”

Bills aimed at allowing the creation of charter schools have previously been introduced in the Kentucky legislature. However, those bills have generally failed once they reached the Democrat controlled House of Representatives. Bevin blames that, at least partially, on previous governor Steve Beshear.

“Where was our governor?” Bevin asked. “Have you ever seen the governor of our state out front on this issue? You haven't.”

He also says teachers unions have created roadblocks as well.

"The teacher's union has not been the best friend of the student, they have not.” Bevin said. “They hide behind the student and use the student so they can control the situation.”

Bevin says Louisville’s west end could be a good place to establish Kentucky’s first charter school if legislators were to allow it but he warned that could be years away.

“It is possible there will not be the ability to get this through this legislative session,”  he said. “That's a very real possibility but that is not to say there is not discussion.”

In the meantime, he says he’ll look into other school reforms as well.

“We have to be pragmatic," Bevin said. “We can’t just snap our fingers and make it happen. So there are many other things we'll look at.”

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