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Wed March 6, 2013
Charter School Law Rewrite Now Half Way Through Idaho Legislature
Charter advocates in Idaho are pushing for an overhaul of the law that governs their schools. State lawmakers are looking seriously at that. And this week two bills have passed the House.
Advocates see them as two halves of a substantial rewrite to the state's charter school law. One bill gives the publicly funded, privately run schools money for facilities. The other, which passed Wednesday, is about governance and accountability.
It would allow colleges, universities and nonprofits to authorize new charters. That’s in addition to school districts and the state charter commission which can do that now.
Lawmakers are not as divided on this as they are on the funding bill. But some oppose it saying it would spur charters to grow faster than state resources can handle.
Supporters have included increased accountability for charters in this bill in part to win over school-choice skeptics. It creates performance requirements for the schools and requires periodic renewal of their charters. Now the Senate gets a chance to weigh in on both charter school bills.