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The Bottom Line: Charter schools bill on the way to become law after late night passage

By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line

Lane-KyChamber-piece-300x196The bill to make Kentucky the 44th state to have charter schools saw final passage Wednesday night with a concurrence vote in the House of 53-43.

House Bill 520, sponsored by House Education Chair Bam Carney, would allow for public charter schools to open in the 2018-2019 school year.

Under this bill, charter schools would be allowed to open in any area of the state if approved. Local school boards would serve as the primary authorizer to review applications to open a charter school. The bill also sets up an appeals process that allows for applications to be reviewed by the Kentucky State Board of Education as well as allows the mayors of Louisville and Lexington to serve as authorizers in those cities.

“Today Kentucky joins 43 other states in the adoption of charter schools as a creative solution to close the student achievement gap,” GLI C.O.O. Sarah Davasher-Wisdom said. “Charter schools have been a priority of Louisville’s business community for years and we are pleased to see the General Assembly move Kentucky education forward. We look forward to working with our partners in education to give more families greater access to school choice that will best fit their children’s needs.”

Public charter schools will be open to all students in the area. The bill includes language that would allow preference to be given to those who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch, and students attending persistently low-achieving schools. If there are more applicants to the school than available slots, the bill sets up a process for a random lottery to decide enrollment. Hear more about the bill in an exclusive interview with Rep. Carney here.

The bill passed through the Senate and Senate Education Committee earlier Wednesday. Read the details of that testimony on The Bottom Line here.

House Bill 520 now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.

Voluntary ID legislation receives final passage, heads to governor

Legislation to put Kentucky in compliance with federal law and provide citizens with a voluntary travel ID passed the Senate Wednesday with a 26-11 vote.

Currently, Kentucky is out of compliance with federal law requiring the new form of identification and has been granted an extension until June of this year. Without this legislation, Kentuckians will have to provide a passport, or another form of ID in addition to a drivers’ license in order to fly domestically, or enter onto federal property.

House Bill 410 bill sponsor, Rep. Jim DuPlessis, of Elizabethtown, has said that the legislation would ensure Kentuckians will have enhanced and secure identifications.

The Chamber and the business community support House Bill 410, which now heads to governor’s desk for signature.


For more state government news go to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s The Bottom Line blog.

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