The Kentucky Education Association claimed recently that Kentucky’s House Bill 9 would put profits of “out-of-state corporate charter schools” over the needs of Kentucky students’ education. Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman claims that companies can simply open a charter and siphon tax dollars from Kentucky citizens.
The Chalkboard Review staff have reviewed these claims and HB 9, and have found:
The claims made by the Kentucky Education Association have little-to-no grounding in the actual bill. Nowhere is there any mention of “out-of-state corporate charter schools”. Page 36 of the bill states explicitly that public charters may not levy taxes against the citizens of Kentucky as public schools are able to do.
Furthermore, there is no mention of “corporate profits” in the 80-page bill. Charters are required to submit their finances to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for review.
Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman claims that charters may siphon funds with “zero oversight.” Oversight measures including finance observation, annual reports, and budget examination occurs over twenty-two times in HB 9.
She further states “Outsiders can swoop in and open charter schools in your community, using your tax dollars, with NO oversight, and send your money out of state.”
Counter to this claim, HB 9 clarifies that public charters must be applied for and approved by The Commonwealth of Kentucky, that schools must account specific budgets, and that (again) they may not levy taxes against Kentucky citizens.
Finally, she claims the bill hurts high school sports. “They can set up shop in one community and recruit the best players from surrounding teams, making it impossible for our community schools to compete.” Not only is the word “sports” not mentioned once in the legislation, but schools have been able to open in various towns and counties in Kentucky for the entirety of its 230 year statehood.
This bill has passed Kentucky’s House of Representatives and is currently in the Senate.