IB-1999 (January 1999)
Author: Ed Lederman
House Bill 1113 makes major improvements in charter school finance. SB 52 helps charter schools take advantage of computers; and SB 100 frees charter schools from the grip of anti-consumer school districts.
Charter schools prove to ardent education reformers the oft repeated aphorism that politics is the art of the possible. While some in the reform camp would have much preferred vouchers and others the embrace by the education establishment of a rigorous, coherent, cognitive based mission, it is the Charter Schools movement that has caught on. It is Charter Schools that represent the best, most realistic hope of shifting the balance of power away from education providers to education consumers.
Charter schools in Colorado now thrive, in no small part due to the legislative efforts of former State Senator Bill Owens. But while Colorado is among the states who have charter schools, it is by no means in the forefront. The Center for Education Reform ranks Colorado’s Charter School Laws 11th strongest out of 34.
Three bills that have been introduced in this legislative session that take meaningful steps in strengthening the ability of parents and teachers to establish more responsive and functional schools for their children. One of those three represents more than fine tuning an established concept, it provides an opportunity for the Legislature to head off a possible disastrous State Supreme Court ruling.