Kentucky Senate passes charter school bill

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill aimed at allowing charter schools to open on a limited basis in the state’s two most populous counties.

The proposed pilot program would allow up to five charter schools in both Jefferson and Fayette counties over a five-year period. The bill passed 23-12 Friday.

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Supporters say the goal is to close student achievement gaps. They say charter schools would be geared toward helping poor and minority children.

Republican Sen. Mike Wilson says charter schools are a worthwhile experiment because efforts to turn around struggling schools in the two counties have floundered.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones II said charter schools would siphon money from existing schools.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo predicted the bill won’t go far in the House.