Assembly committee holds hearing on charter school bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Assembly committee holds hearing on charter school bill

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow independent charter schools throughout Wisconsin.

Currently, independent charter schools are allowed only in Milwaukee and Racine, while charter schools elsewhere are overseen by local school boards.

A bill introduced last week by five state representatives would let regional educational agencies and technical college district boards contract with companies or nonprofits to run independent charter schools, according to the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire. Then, if the independent charter schools met certain academic standards, they could create new schools.

The bill also would rename charter schools overseen by local school boards as magnet schools, the term used in most states.

Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, said the changes would bring Wisconsin's charter school definition in line with the federal government's and make it easier for the schools to get federal money.

Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

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