2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 68%
While Kentucky’s law is brand new there are several factors in the law that resulted in its low score and suggest it will not promote a successful charter school landscape.
Kentucky’s bill only allows for a non-school district authorizer in the two cities of Louisville and Lexington, and the conditions under which they may charter are left up to the state, rather than be their automous decision. Limiting availability of independent authorizers to these two cities also leaves individuals in the majority of the state with only one option to authorize charter schools – the districts who fought the existence of the law.
As pernicious, Kentucky’s charter school law does not provide for any funds for schools, and while the leadership says it must include those funds in the next budget bill, it means that funding is limited to an annual appropriation and not codified into law. This leaves funding at the discretion of politics, not sound policy. Those were among the factors that earned the bluegrass state’s inaugural charter school law ranking is a D. Kentucky was spared from a failing grade due to it having some additional capacity for authorizing in the two major cities and the lack of a cap on the number of charter schools permitted.
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed: 2017
- Number of Schools: 0
- Charter School Enrollment: 0
- Kentucky doesn’t cap the number of charter schools
- Virtual schools are not permitted
- Charter Schools may contract with education service providers but the details of their capacity to do so is left to the state’s regulatory authority.
- Kentucky scored a six out of fifteen for authorizers because their law allows for expanded authorizing through the Mayors of Louisville and Lexington, though only in their respective cities which means that residents who live outside of those cities have no entity with which to authorize charter schools but school districts. Districts cannot expected to be bold in authorizing competitive schools.
- If they can get open and be funded, Kentucky charter schools may enjoy operational autonomy as the law provides for a blanket waiver from state regulations. However the schools themselves will be depending on district funding decisions and any other contractual requirements they set, whereas the schools authorized by the Mayors will be able to be their own locial education agency (LEA).
Only 3 out of fifteen points were awarded for funding is entirely dependent on the state legislature passing a funding bill every year. This is an unjust foundation on which charter schools will build.
Online Learning Score: 65%
Kentucky’s virtual school program dates back to 2000, but it has always been limited in scope. In addition to publicly funding public school students’ digital learning, Kentucky also pays for home education students to enroll in both full time and individual online courses, though they do not authorize charter schools or pay for private school students to enroll.
Teacher Quality Score: 75%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers B-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers D