NKU board takes no action on becoming authorizer of pilot charter school
Northern Kentucky University’s Board of Regents took no action Tuesday to become an authorizer of a pilot charter school in Kenton or Campbell counties.
The board has until Jan. 1, 2023, to confirm participation, but Tuesday’s meeting was its last of the year.
Earlier this year, the Kentucky legislature passed House Bill 9, which created a pilot project for public charter schools. Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the measure, but it was overridden.
A press release from NKU said the board “was invited to consider serving as an authorizer of one or more public charter schools.” If the board had agreed to serve in that role, it would be accountable for the charter school’s success, choose the school’s operator and monitor progress.
No vote was taken, as no board member made a motion to approve the resolution, the press release said.
According to House Bill 9, if the board is not the authorizer as of July 1, 2023, a group of metropolitan school board members will become the substitute pilot project authorizer.
Board of Regents Chair Rich Boehne said in a statement the board researched charter schools around the country and the “specific reasoning behind the proposed charter school in Northern Kentucky.”
“We also engaged both the proponents and opponents of local charter schools, and scrutinized the plan – including the role of authorizer – as specifically defined in House Bill 9,” he said.
“While I believe there are those on our board who would generally support our role as authorizer and those on our board who would vote against it, there is clear consensus – as evidenced by the board’s lack of action – that the option offered to us, as defined in House Bill 9, is not workable.”
The chair added that parties on all sides “have agreed to work together to seek the best ways to improve the education and lives of children in our community” and the university is “determined to support this collaboration for the good of our entire region.”
The press release said the board’s concerns included “a lack of start-up funding available to the authorizer; the aggressive timeline for approving the strategy, operator and opening of the school; the cost of legal challenges to the charter school’s long-term funding strategy; and, among other concerns, the financial viability of a small-scale charter schools operation.
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