Legislation Promotes New Charter Schools

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Bills before the state House and Senate would allow charter schools greater freedom and more funding opportunities in Kansas, where the schools have struggled to take hold.

Kansas currently has 15 charter schools, which are publicly funded but generally operate independently of school districts. Kansas had 37 charter schools three years ago but many closed for financial reasons.

Bills in the House and Senate would allow charter schools to have lottery admissions and bar them from discriminating, although they would be able to turn away special education students.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the bills would exempt charter schools from many regulations, including graduation requirements and curriculum standards. It also would allow independent monitors to set up charter schools, rather than require public school boards to run the schools.