Senate Makes Changes to Bill Expanding Charter Schools

The Senate also passed an amendment raising the percentage of charter school teachers who must be licensed.

An Empty Classroom

Photo: Ben Skirvin/WFIU

The Senate also passed an amendment raising the percentage of charter school teachers who must be licensed.

The Senate made more changes to a bill expanding charter schools in Indiana Monday.

Previously, the bill required 51 percent of teachers, 51 percent of parents and a majority of a corporation’s school board to vote to change a public school to a charter school. Middlebury Senator Carlin Yoder’s amendment, which passed 36 to 13, removes teachers from that process. Yoder said he wants parents to have more control over their children’s education.

“But I do think that teachers have motives that are different than parents when you think about a school and changing a school from a traditional public school to a charter,” said Yoder.

But Terre Haute Senator Tim Skinner said teachers act as a check and balance to parents in the equation.

“One side of the issue can keep an eye on the other so that we just don’t favor or see one side of the issue. So I think teachers are an important part of that process,” said Skinner.

The Senate also passed an amendment raising the percentage of charter school teachers who must be licensed from 75 to 90 percent and one allowing more students to attend virtual charter schools, where classes are conducted online.

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