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Will Alabama, Nebraska Be Next to Join the Charter Movement?

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There are murmurs of charter school legislation coming down the pike in two of the eight remaining states without charter laws: Alabama and Nebraska.

Several Alabama Republican lawmakers said they plan to attempt passing another charter school law this upcoming session, according to the Associated Press. The last substantial push for a charter school law in Alabama was in 2012.

Charter school advocates put Alabama on the top of their list of holdout states that may join the other 42 states, plus the District of Columbia, with charter school laws this coming year.

There's a large push for charters in Alabama coming from outside the statehouse fueled by groups such as the Black Alliance for Educational Options; StudentsFirst, the education advocacy group founded by former District of Columbia schools chief Michelle Rhee; and the Business Council Alabama. However, there's arguably an equally strong effort to pull the state back from making the charter jump. The counter effort is led by the state's teachers' union.

Another state charter advocates have see as potentially warming up to the idea of charter schools is Nebraska. Its Governor-Elect, Republican and businessman Pete Ricketts, has said he supports charter schools, although it's unclear if school choice is a priority for him. 

But, Omaha Public Schools is preparing for charter legislation should it materialize, reports the Omaha World-Herald. Several school board members say that in order to be part of shaping school choice in the state, they need to be proactive, according to the World-Herald. The board discussed earlier this week supporting an idea called 'opportunity schools', which would essentially be charter schools running under local school board oversight and other guidelines.

Related: States That Prohibit Charters Likely to Decline

Related: 2014 Midterm Elections and School Choice: Q and A With Advocates

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