New federal education law offers incentives for passing charter school legislation

A new federal law aimed at bringing more local control back to education includes a provision which incentivizes states like Kentucky to pass charter school legislation, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) told the Kentucky Chamber.

In an interview with The Bottom Line, Alexander—who is seen as one of the architects of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—said the new federal law includes a provision that would give states who pass charter school legislation some federal funding to get those projects underway.

“What the new law helps Kentucky do is it provides some funding for starting up charter schools and provides some support for the biggest cost in building a new school, which is the school building,” Alexander said.

Kentucky is one of only seven states  in the country that has not passed any form of charter school legislation.

Legislation has been proposed in recent legislative sessions to have charter school pilot projects in Jefferson and Fayette counties to help give parents a choice on where to send their children. The Kentucky Chamber strongly supports charter school legislation.

“They are all public schools. And a charter school is very simple. It gives teachers more freedom to teach, teach the way they want to teach, and give parents more freedom to choose the school for their child that they want to choose, all public schools,” Alexander said, adding that he is a big proponent of charter schools.

Watch the interview segment with Alexander here:

For more of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s interview with The Bottom Line on the new federal law, click here.

Check back on The Bottom Line for an interview with Kentucky Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Wilson about ESSA, charter schools, and more.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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