With Republicans dominating Frankfort, the charter school issue is now getting a lot more serious discussion in Kentucky. That’s a good thing, because any new tool that could be helpful in better educating our young people is always worth considering, and I tend to favor anything that allows more personal choice by parents in determining what’s best for their own kids.
For those who don’t know, charter schools are still taxpayer-funded, but they’re operated by private entities. And because they’re not bound by all policies of the public school system, they’re free to try different structures and teaching techniques that could improve their chances of connecting with students who don’t respond well to the regular school environment.
Of course, there are caveats: Those in charge of deciding who can operate a charter school must be wisely chosen. Kentucky must demand strict accountability from those who are chosen. And access to these schools has to be equal for all. But since we have the experiences of 42 other states that already have charter schools to learn from, we should be well-positioned to determine what our “best practices” should be and identify the problems we’re likely to encounter.
Charter schools won’t solve all our public education challenges. But I think they could provide an important new resource in Kentucky’s mission to better serve the Commonwealth’s students and their families.
Call us with your thoughts.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.