NEW INFORMATION: Charter school expansion bill draws opposition

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Making it easier to open independently operating charter schools is drawing support from national and local groups that have tried and failed to open such schools in Wisconsin.

But opponents argued at a state Assembly committee hearing Thursday that the change would harm existing public schools and jeopardize currently operating charter schools in the state.

Independent charter schools are public schools that operate like private businesses, don't employ unionized teachers or stuff and do not have to answer to school boards. Supporters view them as a vital alternative to public schools because they have more flexibility in what is taught and staffing.

The bill would dramatically rework the charter school landscape in Wisconsin by expanding groups that could authorize independent charter schools.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposal that would greatly expand where independent charter schools could open in Wisconsin is scheduled for a public hearing before a state Assembly committee.

Charter schools are public schools that operate like private businesses, don't employ unionized teachers or stuff and do not have to answer to school boards.

Under current law, independent charter schools not created by a school board can only be authorized by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside, the Milwaukee Area Technical College, and the city of Milwaukee.

The Republican-backed bill up for a hearing Thursday would expand those that could create independent charter schools to include all four-year and two-year UW System institutions, technical college boards and all of the state's regional educational service agencies.

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