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Charter Schools Bill On Fast Track To Governor Daniels

Last updated on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

(STATEHOUSE) - A charter schools bill could be on a fast track to Governor Daniels’ desk.

The Senate is expected to approve a bill next week to expand the list of entities who can authorize charters, after some final technical changes.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says he hasn't decided whether to sign off on Senators' more substantive changes.

Bosma is most concerned about a provision allowing a majority of parents to petition to convert a traditional public school to a charter.

A Senate Committee inadvertently required a majority of teachers to join in the request, and limited it to the top-performing schools instead of the worst.

An amendment approved Monday appears to fix that issue, but Bosma says he needs to read it through and make sure it says what it should.

If Bosma accepts the senate bill, a final house vote would send it to the Governor.

Otherwise, there will be negotiations to come up with a bill both chambers can endorse.

The senate has also inserted a provision requiring 90% of the teachers at a charter school to have teaching licenses, up from 50% in the original bill.

Bosma says that's a side issue, and says he believes the senate found "an appropriate middle ground."

Current law allows school boards, public universities or the mayor of Indianapolis to authorize charters, but only Ball State and the Mayor; first Bart Peterson, then Greg Ballard have made extensive use of that power.

Bosma's bill would extend chartering authority to private universities and a new state charter board.

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