Charter Schools Fact Sheet

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SB14 WV Charter School Act : A “solution” in search of a problem

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The Senate Education Committee is taking up a Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 14, which proposes public charter schools in West Virginia. Proponents of public charter schools claim opportunities for choice, creativity and local control. The current bill actually promotes inequity, less accountability, and privatization of our public schools.

Charters claim to provide local control but actually allow total autonomy to the charter while holding the county board responsible for outcomes. SB14 language:

• Allows out-of-state for-profit contractors to provide school management, educational services, transportation and food services.  This clearly opens the door for the privatization of our schools in West Virginia.
• Allows preferential treatment for select students and “weighted” lotteries for student enrollment.  This will allow charter schools to exclude various groups of students.
• Directs state and local funds to charter schools, bypassing locally elected county boards of education.
• Charter schools are provided complete autonomy in how they choose to deliver education services, yet local county boards are held accountable for the “performance” of the school.
Charters propose flexibility and creativity for employees but actually the governing board has the authority dictate the curriculum, assessment, scheduling, services and most importantly, the rights of all personnel. SB14 language:
• Requires personnel follow licensure procedures and state certification laws but have NO due process rights if disciplined or terminated for any reason.
• Allows personnel to accrue seniority within a charter school but allows NO rights regarding tenure in hiring, transfer, or termination.
• Allows flexible scheduling with NO requirement for instructional planning, class size, duty-free lunch, employment term or working hours.     

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