Bill Allowing Charter Schools Passes in Alabama, Awaits Gov. Bentley's Signature
Cross-posted from the Charters and Choice blog
By Arianna Prothero
The Alabama legislature has passed a bill to allow charter schools to open in the state.
Alabama Senate leadership expects Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, to sign the bill, reports AL.com. If he does, only seven states will not have laws allowing charter schools.
"Today is a proud moment in our state's education history," said Duncan Kirkwood, the Alabama State Director for the Black Alliance for Educational Options, in a statement. "The delivery of a charter schools bill to the governor's desk is the victory parents, community members and BAEO have been fighting for."
BAEO has been front and center in the most recent push to establish charter schools in the state, and many school choice advocates in Alabama and nationally have predicted that the state would be the next to join the charter club.
Republican lawmakers have said that passing charter legislation was a priority this session, and they have made good on that promise: The state Senate approved the charter bill last week, the House voted on it late Wednesday afternoon with the Senate approved the House's changes to the bill later in the evening.
If the governor signs the charter bill, this won't be the only victory for school choice advocates in Alabama this session: the state's Supreme Court recently ruled its tax-credit scholarship program constitutional, and now a bill to expand that program is circulating in the legislature.