A Kentucky Department of Education public hearing on the proposed charter school regulations was held yesterday, November 21, 2017 at 10am in Frankfort, KY.

After exploration of the general charter school law (H.B.520) and detailed applicant requirements, this article in the series will discuss the next phase in Kentucky’s charter school implementation.

Kevin Brown, Associate Commissioner and General Counsel of the Kentucky Department of Education, chaired the panel hearing public comment on the charter regulations and the documents as incorporated by reference, as proposed:

  • 701 KAR 8:010 — Charter school student application, lottery and enrollment.
  • 701 KAR 8:020 — Evaluation of charter school authorizers
  • 701 KAR 8:030 — Charter school appeal process
  • 701 KAR 8:040 — Conversion charter school petition, conversion and operation

With enthusiasm around charter schools officially moving into Kentucky’s system of K-12 public education, several people signed up to provide public comment at the hearing.

I was pleased to provide testimony in support of the regulations for the evaluation of charter school authorizers – and the charter school application as incorporated by reference. I spoke in support of the detailed application process highlighting the critical need for thorough vetting of applicants. I also spoke in support of the authorizer training requirements, consistency in evaluation criteria, and the benefit around the specificity of such being identified in the regulations.

Bishop Michael Ford of the Kentucky Charter School Association provided supportive comments and recommendations, and said that the Association would follow with written comments for consideration.

Eric Kennedy, Director of Governmental Relations for the Kentucky School Boards Association, also spoke in support of the application as a critical point in the chartering process. The School Boards Association will also submit written testimony to address additional aspects of the regulations.

The Model Laboratory School and Lafontaine Preparatory School addressed the panel with public comment, as well. The public comment session offered diverse statements and questions with several speakers addressing special education regulations, conversion requirements and very specific application questions including funding, teacher certification and enrollment to name a few.

The charter school regulations will remain in the review process through November 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm. Stakeholders may provide written comment on the regulations as proposed via email to kevin.brown@education.ky.gov up until the deadline.

After all public comments are received, a statement of consideration will be reviewed at a special meeting with the Kentucky Board of Education on December 5, 2017. If the Board of Education is in agreement with the statement of considerations the charter regulations, as may be amended, will be filed on December 15 and approved in January. If further consideration is needed, this approval may be delayed an additional month.

This article is the third in a series published by Adkins & Company, a Kentucky-based consulting group whose mission is to position charter schools for success by providing boards, operators and authorizers with access to high quality services and expertise.

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