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Education

Idaho Legislature Considers Overhaul Of State’s Charter School Law

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Samantha Wright
/
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are considering a re-write of the state's charter school law. Thursday they'll hear from the public.

Idaho was an early adopter of charter schools. Fifteen years ago, the state passed a law to allow the publicly funded, privately run schools to be created. Since then the only major change has been the formation of a commission to oversee charter schools. In recent years, though, Idaho has slipped from being one of the charter-friendliest states in the country to one of the least. 

“We think that with what we’re trying to do. We’ll move up to somewhere in the top ten, and provide greater opportunities for charter students across Idaho,” says Alan Millar, head of the Idaho Charter School Network.

His group backs the overhaul of the law. The changes include allowing universities and nonprofits to authorize charter schools, something only school districts and the charter commission can do now. The bill also increases standards for charter performance and accountability and requires them to renew their charters periodically.

Millar hopes the higher standards will help ease some of the tension that has existed between charters and traditional districts.

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