House Bill 9 seeks to create permanent funding system for charter schools

Posted at 5:58 PM, Mar 15, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A bill being considered by Kentucky lawmakers could give Kentucky charter schools what they've been waiting for - public funding.

House Bill 9 would create a permanent funding system for charter schools. How would the funding work? Just like traditional public schools, charter schools would receive funding from a mix of local and state tax money. The amount they would receive would depend on student attendance.

The bill's primary sponsor, Majority Whip Rep. Chad McCoy, believes it's time to fund the schools. He says lawmakers went through a lot of effort in 2017 to legalize charter schools in Kentucky. But since then, none have been created.

"We put all these protections in place, and we don't have any [charter schools]. Why? Because we've never offered a funding model for them," said McCoy. "But parents are desperate for something different, and this is a good opportunity to do something different."

However, that concerns some traditional public school supporters. KY 120 United issued a call to action against the bill.

"This bill will allow outsiders to authorize unlimited charter schools in Kentucky and create a mechanism to fund them," the action document read. "Kentucky has never seen a charter school bill that will be as detrimental as HB 9 to public education along with the health of our local communities."

McCoy thinks the concerns are unwarranted because traditional public schools will still have students.

"We're only one of seven states that doesn't have charter schools and if you look at all the other states, the 40-whatever that have them, they still have public schools. And if you look in those states, more than 90% of the kids still go to public school," he said.