Charter Schools

Kentucky Charter Schools on Eastern Standard

May 8, 2017
Marisa Hempel

Kentucky’s General Assembly has passed legislation that will allow  Charter schools to open as early as next year.


On this week’s EST, we’ll learn more about Charter schools and where they’re most likely to first appear in the Commonwealth. Guests on this week's program include:

Governor Signs Kentucky Charter Schools Bill Into Law

Mar 23, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed the charter schools bill into law, allowing the alternative institutions to open up this fall after an application process.

Kentucky is the 44th state in the country to allow charter schools, which will receive public funding and be exempt from most state regulations in an effort to provide innovative education.

Bevin tweeted to mark the occasion:

With hopes of passing a charter schools bill out of the legislature by the end of the day, the Senate Education Committee Wednesday approved last-minute changes to a bill that would allow the organizations to open up across the state.

Gov. Matt Bevin showed up to the committee to once again throw his support behind the bill.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that it’s needing a debate at this point,” Bevin said. “This idea that some would say ‘well we’re not ready, we haven’t had time, we haven’t studied it.’ Really?”

After a lengthy debate and rushed legislative process, the state House of Representatives has passed a charter schools bill. The measure passed 56-39.

The legislation now heads to the state Senate, where it’s expected to pass.

Under the bill, private organizations and community members can apply to open up a charter school. Local school districts and the mayors of Lexington and Louisville would be charged with approving or denying the charters, though denials could be appealed to the state board of education.

House Education Chair Files New Charter School Bill

Feb 21, 2017

A new bill that would create a system for charter schools to open up across Kentucky has been filed in the state House of Representatives. If approved, charters would be able to begin enrolling students in the 2018-19 academic year.

Unlike another bill that would allow school boards, universities, the state or the mayors of Lexington and Louisville to authorize charters, this legislation would allow only local school boards to review and approve charter school applications.

If denied, the requests could be appealed to the state board of education.

When Kentucky lawmakers return to Frankfort next week, they’ll likely take up charter school legislation.

In the meantime, WFPL is taking a look at the issue from various angles. In this installment of the weeklong series, we examine the debate over charters in Louisville — home to the state’s largest public school district, Jefferson County Public Schools.

Kentucky’s state board of education is expected to take a deeper look at charter schools during a special meeting in November.

The board decided Wednesday to conduct a more thorough review of the highly-debated educational option. 

Richard Innes with the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy says statistical reviews show charter school programs can help reduce academic achievement gaps.  

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Lexington’s ‘Black Males Working’ program has been detailed before a legislative committee in Frankfort.  The faith based program offered in Fayette County schools was discussed during Tuesday’s House Education Committee meeting on charter schools. BMW's mission statement says they aim to educate, motivate, and activate the potential for excellence.   Founder Rosz Akins says out of BMW Academy’s 300 young men, 15 are members of the founding Baptist church.  “We have Muslims, we have all kinds of denominations; other faiths, no faiths at all," Akins said.