Opening the Door for More Authorizers in Wyoming

One of the leading innovations in education these days is the charter school. Kansas does have some, but the legal climate doesn’t allow for charter schools to flourish. That’s because it requires any potential applicant to first get the approval of a local school district. Arizona, Minnesota, and other states allow for other authorizing agencies, a position that Kansas should adopt.

Meanwhile, a few states share the overly restrictive position adopted by Kansas. One is Wyoming–at least for now. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports on calls to change the law:

In Wyoming, local school boards decide if charter schools can get off the ground.

That makes Wyoming a state that is unfriendly to such facilities, said Amy Edmonds, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Public Charter Schools.

Asking a school district’s trustees to approve a charter school is like asking Lowe’s to open a Home Depot, Edmonds added.

Not a bad analogy.

On the other hand, one school district in the state actually supports the idea of creating an alternative authority for granting charters:

In October 2007, Laramie County School District 2 trustees passed a resolution asking the Legislature to change the charter school law.

They sent the resolution to the Wyoming School Boards Association, whose members defeated it during a delegate assembly in November.

LCSD2’s board wanted to set up a statewide granting agency instead of having school boards hear charter school applications. The current process takes time and creates antagonism, LCSD2 trustees said.

Anyone in Kansas willing to follow that example?

Source: “Charter Supporters Want Law Changed,” 1/4/08

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