FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) - A proposal to introduce charter schools in Kentucky on a test basis passed the Senate Wednesday after it was amended to give local school boards a say in the matter.

The Ky. Senate voted 28-9 to pass Senate Bill 253, which would allow for charter school pilot programs over a five-year period in Jefferson and Fayette Counties.

The schools would be part of the public education system in the state, but would be exempt from some laws and regulations.

Sen. Reginald Thomas (D-Lexington) introduced the “local control” amendment that allows local school boards to authorize charter schools.

“I think we have to recognize that we have to be innovative and creative when it comes to trying to adjust the achievement gap,” Thomas said. “We have had an achievement gap in Fayette County far too long.”

Under the bill, charter schools would target low-income students for priority acceptance.

The bill will face strong resistance in the Democratic-led House, where it is now headed.

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