MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It looks like Alabama's legislature will pass a charter schools bill this year, maybe as early as this week. There is opposition, but with a weakened AEA and five years of debate behind us, 2015 seems to be the year.
There is no silver bullet for solving the problems with government run schools, but charter schools should certainly be in the arsenal.
Charters have the flexibility to be innovative in areas such as tenure, curriculum, instructional requirements, and school schedules, while being required to meet state and federal standards to stay in business.
42 other states have charter schools, some since 1991. Stories of success and failure abound.
Even though Alabama has lagged behind in giving charter schools a chance, the good news is that legislation in other states has given us enough history to learn from.
I urge Alabama's legislators to do this right. Get into it slowly. Provide good oversight. Make accountability transparent and verifiable. Most of all, give them a chance to innovate, something many government run schools and the students in them desperately need.