Monday, March 18, 2013

House Bill 1338 Gives Ballard Unchecked Charter School Power

Emperor Mayor Greg Ballard
On Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., House Bill 1338 will be heard in the Indiana Senate's Education and Career Development Committee.

The bill itself will change various things in the law regarding charter schools if it passes.  Some of the changes would seem to be good.  For example, one provision of the new law would allow charter schools to apply for school safety grants.  It would force the charter school to post its board on the school's website.  It does TONS of things...far too many to list here.  For a full list, go visit the bill here.

As is the case with these omnibus bills, they have a lot of parts.  There are several parts that are objectionable, I think, to most people.  One thing the bill would do is remove the City-County Council's ability to practice oversight over Mayor Greg Ballard's charter schools.  Essentially, he could create as many schools as he wanted to without any legislative oversight whatsoever.  Can you believe that?

Once again, the General Assembly is acting with absolutely no reason to act.  In general, the Council and the Mayor's Office has had a tremendous relationship on education matters.  For the majority of the majority, this is one area in which there has been a great deal of bipartisan agreement in city-county government, much to my dismay, in fact.  That's not that I believe that Mayor Greg Ballard should have more power to grant these charters, but I wish the Council would exercise more restraint to this proliferation of charter schools.  I don't think the power of the Council should be circumvented yet again by a General Assembly that keeps sticking its nose into local politics.

The power grab at the Statehouse continues by the people often yelling most about the federal government grabbing power.

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