FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - UPDATE: The Kentucky Charter Schools bill HB520 has passed the House 56-39. It will now head to the Senate.
The mayors of Kentucky's two largest cities could create charter schools that would be exempt from state regulations under a bill that has cleared a House committee.
House Speaker Jeff Hoover expects the bill to pass and says many people worked hard to put together a bill that is widely acceptable.
House bill 520 would allow charter schools in Kentucky for the first time. Kentucky is one of seven states that do not allow charter schools, which are public schools that are governed by a contract instead of state regulations.
Governor Matt Bevin has been a vocal support of the bill, saying, “I need for Kentucky to not be one of seven states that still has a monopoly on public education dollars, because with all due respect, we’re not doing as well as we could be.”
The bill would let local school boards and the mayors of Louisville and Lexington authorize charter schools in their communities. Private groups, excluding for-profit companies, could apply to create a school. They could appeal to the state Board of Education if their application is denied. State funding would follow the students, except for money set aside for debt, construction and transportation.