Senate passes charter school legislation with bipartisan support

The Kentucky Senate passed Senate Bill 253, the bill establishing a charter school pilot program that could be utilized only in Fayette and Jefferson Counties, on Wednesday.

The legislation, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Wilson, passed with a bipartisan vote of 28-9.

The bill allows Fayette and Jefferson Counties to authorize one charter school each year in their district for the five year pilot program period. The charter schools would be a part of the state’s education system but would receive exemptions from certain regulations that are applicable to the Kentucky Board of Education and local school districts.

SB 253 originally created a Public Charter School Commission that could also authorize charters in those counties. That part of the bill was removed by a floor amendment sponsored by Sen. Reggie Thomas, leaving only the local school districts the ability to authorize and oversee the charter schools.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.

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