September 2, 2014

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Sen. Katie Stine reviews Kentucky congressional week

Outside the Capitol this week, falling snow betrayed the calendar. Inside, there was no denying it’s March in Frankfort. Committee meetings, chamber proceedings and work days stretched well past daylight’s end.  Debates and discussions lengthened and intensified. Bills were passed with urgency from committees, from chambers, from the Legislature to the governor. It all signaled one thing: the end of session is near.

Kentucky has in place a process for improvement for struggling schools. When the State Department of Education cites a school for being persistently low-achieving, there are several available options the school board including restaffing, allowing an outside management company to lead a turnaround effort, or even closing. Senate Bill 176 will add another option: the local school board can allow a petition to convert the school to a charter school.  Please keep in mind that these are extreme measures for extreme situations. Unfortunately, the fact is that we have schools that are graduating only a small percentage of students. This is unacceptable and we must give parents, teachers, and communities every tool possible to make sure our kids are college or career ready.