Dozens of supporters and opponents of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s charter school expansion proposal squared off in a crowded room in Annapolis Thursday to share their hopes and concerns for the bill.
Hogan’s bill would allow charter schools to qualify for funding through the state’s capital improvement program and exempt employees from state teacher certification. Charter schools could also apply for a waiver from the state that would free it from all laws and regulations that govern public schools.
Supporters argue the legislative proposal would promote flexibility and freedom in the school system.
“This legislation is about allowing innovations and flexibility in the ways we educate our children,” said Keiffer Mitchell, special adviser to Gov. Larry Hogan. “A one-size-fits-all model does not work for education.”
Critics, however, warned the effort would set a dangerous precedent.
“The bill before you is an extreme bill that proposes a radical approach to charters that’s proven a failure in other states,” said Alison Perkins-Cohen, executive director for the Office of New Initiatives at Baltimore Public Schools. “It undervalues teachers, it threatens some of our most vulnerable students and attacks the principle of local control of education.”
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In the meantime, Mike Klonsky reports that Chicago suburban districts have thus far been able to block charters from moving in.
These are not affluent school districts. >>> Read more