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More Charter School Debate


A public hearing in Frankfort this week on charter schools underscored stark differences of opinion between the Republican chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Mike Wilson, and his counterpart in the House, Democrat Derrick Graham.

Despite hearing testimony from a Jefferson County school official who questioned the cost and effectiveness of charter schools, Wilson continues to back the concept. He says he’s a strong supporter of traditional public schools but a charter school simply gives parents another option for their children’s education.

Wilson lives in Bowling Green and says a program now operating there is an example of how a good charter school should work in Kentucky…

The Gatton Academy allows gifted math and science students who are juniors and seniors in high school to take classes at Western Kentucky University. There are 120 students in the program each year.


Credit KET
Derrick Graham

Retired Frankfort high school teacher Derrick Graham chairs the House Education Committee and he believes charter schools in Kentucky would be a waste of valuable resources. He says any money that would be appropriated for charter schools in the Commonwealth would be funds taken away from schools now operating…


Graham also says the General Assembly has already approved legislation permitting “school districts of innovation”. He contends it provides the same kind of flexibility that charter school proponents say is needed to make the educational process more effective.