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(JUNEAU) – Today at The Academy Charter School Governor Palin signed Senate Bill 57, a bill supporting school choice and doing away with the charter school penalty. Charter schools are public schools open to all children, free of charge. Charter schools must comply with state laws governing public schools, and they employee state-certified teachers who are employees of their local school district. Charter schools are managed by a parent-elected board of directors that determines the school’s curriculum and teaching methods, within the guidelines of state statute. Today, the minimum number of students a charter school must have to be funded as a school is 150, and the enrollment an alternative school must have is 200. When these schools fall just one student below those thresholds in the October count period, the state cuts funding by $500,000 - $700,000. This is a disaster for the school and its district.
SB 57 states that charter schools with fewer than 150 students will have their student count adjusted by the same per-student rate as neighborhood schools with 400 students. SB 57 also contains a one-year, hold-harmless provision for charter schools and alternative schools that unexpectedly fall below the enrollment threshold, and are either in their first year of operation or were above the threshold the previous year.
Governor Palin's bill is in sharp contrast to Øbama's latest move. Øbama has coldly as done away with school choice in Washington DC in a shameless effect to suck up the the Teachers Union. DC has the worst public school system in the country and many children will soon have no choice but to attend some of the most violent and poorly run schools in America.
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