Mara Powell

Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

HB 520, sponsored by Chairman John Carney, to allow high quality charter schools has passed the House Education Committee. This bill represents the most significant and fundamental education reform that Kentucky has seen since the enactment of the Kentucky Education Reform Act in 1990.

It is especially important to note that HB 520 incorporates important lessons learned from the national experience around charter schools. It incorporates research-based and proven standards around accountability, authorization, best practice, financing, and certification.

There is one revision that is imperative. The bill must ensure that a clear laser focus remains on vulnerable kids. There must be uncompromising provisions that every charter school places a priority on those students most in need of new educational options to achieve. This component is critical to make charter schools the highest possible quality measure for Kentucky’s children and families.

HB 520 will complement the good work at hand in so many Kentucky schools by so many teachers and principals.  It gives educators as well as parents the chance to create environments for innovation in practice to achieve better student outcomes.

Kentucky’s kids are winners because of Governor Matt Bevin, Chairman Carney, Senator Mike Wilson, and a host of others who have followed the hard path to make strong and effective charter schools a reality for Kentucky students.