By Jim Waters, CEO of Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - CREDO, a respected research group at Stanford University, has studied charter schools for a decade. The group’s reports consistently show that once students spend enough time in charter schools to fully benefit – a process that takes an average of three years – they outperform their peers in traditional public schools who come from the same neighborhoods and socioeconomic backgrounds.
So, why isn't Kentucky benefiting from the school choice successes found in cities like Atlanta and Cleveland, and states like Arizona, which had eight of U.S. News and World Report's top 10 "Best Charter High Schools" in America last year?
Why are most Kentucky parents – at least the ones without means – forced to send their children to a school the government dictates rather than one they determine give their children the best chance for success?
It's time for the legislature to not only create a better process for authorizing charters but to also fund these innovative public schools.
Every year without school choice is another year of missed opportunity for too many Kentucky children.
Like Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform – the nation's leading charter-school group – once wrote in a locally published editorial: "Oftentimes the debate over charter schools comes down to 'we versus. them.' The reality is that as long as we do better for kids we are all playing on the same team."
Please call your legislators and ask them to support funding for charter schools. Visit bipps.org for more information.