Assembly Republicans Introduce School Accountability Bill

Proposal Would Convert Repeatedly Failing Public Schools Into Charter Schools


Assembly Republicans unveiled a school accountability bill on Wednesday that would convert repeatedly failing public schools into charter schools.

The plan would create a new letter grading system for schools, and require schools that received a D or F for three years to implement a reform plan. If after four more years, a public school is still failing, it would by law be turned into an independent charter school.

Private voucher schools that fail would be allowed to continue operating, but they’d have to stop taking voucher students for four years. They’d be allowed to take a different set of tests to measure their progress.

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Despite single-party control, Republicans were unable to agree on a school accountability bill last year, with Senate Republicans concerned some ideas were too punitive. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters that was then.

“Well luckily, we have a brand new Senate and a brand new Assembly,” said Vos. “So I don’t take what somebody said years ago to be gospel for what’s true today.”

Cross Plains Democrat Rep. Sondy Pope, D-Cross Plains, said the plan was less about improving schools and more about rewarding private school interests that support Republican campaigns.

“The simple idea of closing a public school and handing it over to a charter entity is obviously a huge gift,” said Pope.