Kentucky school board considers lottery system to help select students for new charter schools
State Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said the lottery would be used when a school has more applicants than available seats.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new lottery is coming to Kentucky, but this one could determine which students get into charter schools.
By definition, charter schools will have fewer regulations than traditional public schools, but there will be some, including rules on which students can enroll in charter schools and how they are chosen.
“These are public schools, which means they don't get to cherry pick,” State Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said. “They take kids that have applied.”
Pruitt said the Kentucky Board of Education is considering regulations for a lottery system for schools that have more applicants than available seats.
“The lottery is really critical to make sure there is fairness with who gets into those charters and that we're really serving the target populations that we need to serve,” Pruitt said.
Board member Milton Seymour said that is critically important for Louisville's urban students.
“They will have the impact of pulling children out of some of these failing schools, and that will give the county or the district more opportunities to do a better job,” Seymour said.
The state board is also taking up rules for those who can authorize charter schools, the local school boards and the mayors of Louisville and Lexington.
“I think that it’s important on the front end that people don't just decide, ‘Well, I don't like charters, so by golly, we're not going to have them,’" Pruitt said. "Part of this regulation is to start helping authorizers really think through what is a good charter school, because at the end of the day, these are still our kids."
The Kentucky Department of Education has also hired a director for the new charter schools division. Earl Simms is a graduate of Louisville’s duPont Manual High School and has a bachelor's degree in political science and public relations from Murray State University. Currently, Simms is the St. Louis Director of the Office of Charter Schools with the University of Missouri College of Education.
“He comes to us with a lot of background in understanding charters," Pruitt said. "He also comes to us with, I think, a real practical understanding of the issues around charters, that charters are tools in the tool kit."
The charter school regulations should be finalized by January. Pruitt said the state should be ready to receive the first applications for new charter schools next spring.
- Kentucky Education Commissioner says charter schools likely won't open until 2018-19 school year
- New Kentucky laws go into effect June 29 including protecting first responders, allowing charter schools
- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signs charter schools bill
- Revised version of charter schools bill passes Kentucky House and Senate
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