My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


I Guessed This Was Where This Was Going

When I got an e-mail from Sue Windels about a month ago, in which she announced her intention to introduce a bill related to charter schools. At the time, I voiced some concern that she would be trying to rein in the autonomy of charter schools.

I was wrong. Her bill is actually intended to cut back the authority of the state charter school institute, which would reduce chartering authority to only the school districts, some of which are hostile to charters. I've blogged on this topic before.

But today the Rocky Mountain News picks up the ball:

The new chair of the Senate Education Committee, Arvada Democrat Sue Windels, has lost no time making her priorities clear. She has introduced Senate Bill 71, which would eviscerate Colorado's charter school movement. Her counterpart on the House Education Committee, Mike Merrifield of Manitou Springs, is the other major sponsor.

The chief mischief of the bill is that it explicitly expands the grounds on which a local school board can deny a charter application. A district hostile to charters - and there are a few - need only demonstrate that "approval of the charter application is likely to adversely affect the quality or viability of programs and services offered by existing schools in the school district."

I'm glad to see that one of the major dailies has chosen to keep a light shining on this committee in the legislature. There's only so much I can do from here, but the Rocky can certainly make a big noise here.

I'll let the conclusion of the Rocky editorial speak for itself:

All in all, SB 71 is a pernicious measure, and we hope legislators from both parties who have supported charter schools in the past will recognize it for what it is.

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