Leading Democrat Now Open to Charter Schools

Jan 3, 2012

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he’s interested in hearing more about charter schools after a new group launched TV ads in support of the reform Tuesday morning. Shelbyville Republican Brad Montell has introduced legislation into the house allowing charter schools over the past several years. And supporters in the state Senate have filed and passed bills in that chamber. All the measures have died in the House. But Stumbo says this could be the year that breaks the pattern.

“I’m open to listening because I think anytime that we have a new idea about education improvement we should listen,” says Stumbo. “But I have reservations because we can’t allow our public schools to be impacted negatively.”

Kentucky is among nine states that do not allow charter schools. Their absence is one thing many supporters of the reform say has kept the state from winning multiple Race to the Top federal education grants.

But this morning, a new group called Kentuckians Advocating Reforms in Education a TV ad across the commonwealth to promote charter schools. And other groups, like the Bluegrass Instititue, are getting under the umbrella called the Kentucky Charter School Project, which is working with Montell.