JCPS board chair says Mayor Fischer's support of charter schools - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS board chair says Mayor Fischer's support of charter schools felt like a betrayal

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
JCPS board chairman Chris Brady JCPS board chairman Chris Brady

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The fight over charter schools was on the Kentucky House floor last week, and now it's here locally between JCPS board members and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

"I think what we're dealing with is the effects of poverty, and charter schools aren't a silver bullet for that," said JCPS board chairman Chris Brady.

The House passed a bill allowing charter schools in the Commonwealth. Supporters say the bill would help students who are not being served by traditional public schools, but opponents have called charter schools an attack on public education.

"Charter schools, I think in many ways, will take needed resources applied to the schools that need it most and take those resources and redirect them somewhere else," Brady said.

One supporter of charter schools that surprised some is Fischer. Brady said Fischer's public support of charters felt like a betrayal.

"I think it goes against the wishes of the board and I also think to some degree an overreach," Brady said.

A spokesperson for  Fischer released a statement, saying in part: 

"When this issue came up with legislators, the Mayor conveyed that if a charter school bill passed, he believed that research showed that there are strong charter school models that include mayors as authorizers."

"The school board and the school district have worked very closely with the city on a number of different initiatives," Brady said. "And this was a surprise."

But Fischer also says there are some 20 issues with the way the bill is currently written. He says lawmakers should slow down and says "getting the details right is more important than passing the bill this session."

The charter school bill is likely to get a vote in the Senate this week. 

Related Stories:

Mayor Fischer urges Kentucky lawmakers to slow down on two education bills

Kentucky House passes charter schools bill

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