Rep. Phil Williams Adjusts Wording In Charter Schools Bill

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On Wednesday, State Rep. Phil Williams presented new wording for House Bill 541, a bill that would bring charter schools to Alabama.

The new Education Options Act contains several adjustments:

  • Narrows the scope to only allow public charter schools to open in those systems with persistently low-performing schools (in other words, public charter schools could not be located in systems without such schools);
  • Ensures public charter schools will be physically located in the attendance zone of a persistently low-performing school;
  • Limits the amount of public charter schools to 20;
  • Adds two members of the State Board of Education, as well as the State Superintendent of Education, to an 11-member (rather than 9-member) council;
  • Clarifies that local boards of education can approve a public charter school application only after the recommendation of the local superintendent; and
  • Eliminates language providing that the state has a “moral obligation” to repay a public charter school’s debt service.

A vote could come Thursday morning.