Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lee's Summit Republican: Why I voted for charter school bill

(From Rep. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee's Summit)

Last week my colleagues and I passed legislation that will provide young people in failing schools with additional educational opportunities. House Bill 634 would allow charter schools to expand to areas where at least one school is performing poorly in two of the last three years, with an APR score of 60% or less.

The legislation will increase the accountability and academic requirements for not only new charter schools, but existing ones as well. If a charter underperforms in comparison to similar schools in their district for two of the past three years, they will be limited to a three-year charter renewal. The bill provides that charter schools will have a three year probationary period, and if a charter performs poorly during two of the three years, that charter school will be ineligible for renewal and will be forced to close. 
The bill would also limit the public dollars sent to charter schools to no more than 90 percent of the sending district’s tuition. Additionally, the bill is contingent on the public school foundation formula being fully funded. If the K-12 formula is not fully funded, then no charter school changes go into effect. 

The expansion of charter schools will provide additional opportunities to better serve the needs of kids in failing schools. Charter schools will help underserved populations and will give parents a choice to do what is best for their kids.

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