Governor Matt Bevin joined fellow champions for school choice today in a ceremonial signing of House Bill 520.
The law, approved by lawmakers earlier this year, made Kentucky the 44th state in the nation to authorize public charter schools. Nationally, more than 3 million students attend charter schools in 43 states and Washington D.C.
House Education Committee Chairman Bam Carney sponsored the legislation, which allows charter schools to open in Kentucky beginning with the 2018-19 school year. Charter schools are public schools that provide more opportunities to meet the unique needs of families and students, plus greater flexibility and accountability for school teachers and leaders.
The bill provides local school boards and the mayors of Kentucky’s two largest cities – Louisville and Lexington – with the authority to review and approve the opening of public charter schools. The bill also allows the State Board of Education to review denials.
Support for the legislation came from a wide variety of organizations, including Americans for Prosperity Kentucky, the Campaign for School Equity, the Kentucky Chamber, the Kentucky Charter School Project, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and ExcelinEd in Action.
“I congratulate Kentucky and welcome it into the family of 44 states that have recognized the tremendous value charter schools provide parents and children,” said Governor Jeb Bush, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “Charters have become drivers of education innovation, and research has documented the increased academic achievement of students attending them. When parents are empowered to choose a better learning environment for their children, it is a win for them and for Kentucky’s future.
“Bluegrass families should appreciate the leadership of Governor Bevin and Chairman Carney, as well as the strong support from a broad coalition of advocates, for this historic legislation.”