JCPS calls special meeting to discuss authorizing charter school - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS calls special meeting to discuss authorizing charter schools

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

Charter schools are headed to Kentucky, but local districts still have questions.

"There's a lot of concern about, financially, how it's going to impact our district," said Dr. Marty Pollio, Acting JCPS Superintendent.

JCPS board members received answers from state education officials during a special meeting Friday night. The state's new charter school law took effect in June, but the Kentucky Department of Education is still finalizing its regulations.

Under the law, local school boards are charter school authorizers. It will be up to the board to approve charter school applications, along with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

"So if they apply through the mayor directly, are we left out of the conversation entirely?" board member Ben Gies said. 

"Yes," replied a KDE official. "You're copied on the application, but as far as if you have a say on whether or not the school opens, the answer is no, you don't."

The approval process can also include the state.

Fischer has previously said he'd look for applications that focus on serving low-income students, but JCPS leaders think many at-risk kids will still remain in the district.

"We have a close relationship with the mayor's office at this point, but getting through that process where we have the same beliefs and work together on it will be very important," Pollio said.

The earliest the state could see a charter school opening is next fall, but state officials said 2019 could be more realistic.

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