FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would create a permanent funding system for charter schools.
House Bill 9 passed the Senate 22-14. It now heads to Governor Andy Beshear's desk, which he is expected to veto.
The governor has already said he will veto the charter school funding bill. However, because this bill was passed before midnight on Wednesday, lawmakers will have enough time to override that veto.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) March 29, 2022
This is why lawmakers are working late this week to pass bills. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/SSuxbPmBYp
Charter schools are schools that are funded with taxpayer dollars but are run by private groups. In 2017, Kentucky lawmakers legalized them, but none have been created because lawmakers didn't set up a permanent funding stream.
That's where House Bill 9 comes in. The bill creates a funding model to provide charter schools with public money. Like traditional public schools, charter schools would receive a mix of local and state tax money.
Charter school opponents say charters would divert badly needed money away from traditional public schools. But the bill's sponsor, Rep. Chad McCoy argues there's a need for charter schools. He says they are an alternative option for students who can’t afford private school but aren’t doing well in traditional public schools. He also believes charters won't take much away from traditional public schools.
"These things are going on all over the country and they're not going to hurt public schools," he said. "90% of kids will still go to public schools."