Lawmakers in Virginia pushing for more charter schools
RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Several bills are making their way through the General Assembly that would allow school divisions with at least two unaccredited schools to join forces and ask the state for permission to create a charter school to help students.
Lawmakers say it’s an attempt to help students most in need at struggling schools across the state.
“I’m not saying charter schools are the answer for everything, but they certainly are the answer for some of our children,” Delegate Tag Greason, R-Loudoun County, said to WRIC in Richmond.
Lawmakers said the bills are not a knock on public schools, but a realization that public schools shouldn't be the only path to success for some students.
When it comes to charter schools, Virginia lags way behind neighboring states and the country with just nine.
“There are significantly more charter schools in North Carolina, and Maryland,” said Chris Braunlich with The Jefferson Institute, a non-partisan agency that analyzes a variety of issues. “There are significantly more charter schools just about everywhere.”
Braunlich told WRIC that a majority of unaccredited schools come from the same localities year after year.
Opposers said they are concerned public schools could lose much-needed tax dollars to charter schools while reaching the same results.
But advocates say funding would not be affected and bringing in proven charter school programs will be key to students succeeding.