Education Funding

Alabama Lawmakers Reject Gov. Riley’s Charter School Bid

February 11, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The lure of Race to the Top money was enough to compel lawmakers in some states to rewrite old--and create new--education laws to give themselves a competitive edge in the contest for $4 billion. Legislators in Illinois and Tennessee, for example, revamped laws to make their states more charter school-friendly.

But in Alabama, the potential to win $180 million in RTTT grants has so far failed to move lawmakers to approve legislation that would establish charter schools.

Yesterday, a House education committee effectively killed the measure that Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, has been pushing. Mr. Riley couldn’t even round up all the Republican members of that panel to vote for it.

Alabama’s shunning of the charter legislation reminded me to look at the other hold-out states to see if the appeal of RTTT cash was changing their minds.

In fact, none of the 11 states that currently prohibit charter schools has acted yet to allow them, although Mississippi might be getting close. States with charter-friendly laws can earn up to 40 points out of a total of 500 in the RTTT scoring rubric. Of course, six of the non-charter states, including Mississippi, didn’t even bother to apply for Round One of RTTT.

Gov. Riley met last week with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and is counting on the nation’s schools chief to make a more persuasive case when he travels next month to Alabama for a previously scheduled event. But Mr. Duncan, in an interview with the Birmingham News, may have undercut the governor’s argument that allowing charter schools is key to a competitive RTTT application.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Inside a Summer Learning Camp With an Uncertain Future After ESSER
A high-poverty district offers an enriching, free summer learning program. But the end of ESSER means tough choices.
5 min read
Alaysia Kimble, 9, laughs with fellow students while trying on a firefighter’s hat and jacket at Estabrook Elementary during the Grizzle Learning Camp on June, 26, 2024 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Alaysia Kimble, 9, laughs with fellow students while trying on a firefighter’s hat and jacket at Estabrook Elementary during the Grizzly Learning Camp on June, 26, 2024 in Ypsilanti, Mich. The district, with 70 percent of its students coming from low-income backgrounds, is struggling with how to continue funding the popular summer program after ESSER funds dry up.
Sylvia Jarrus for Education Week
Education Funding Jim Crow-Era School Funding Hurt Black Families for Generations, Research Shows
Mississippi dramatically underfunded Black schools in the Jim Crow era, with long-lasting effects on Black families.
5 min read
Abacus with rolls of dollar banknotes
iStock/Getty
Education Funding What New School Spending Data Show About a Coming Fiscal Cliff
New data show just what COVID-relief funds did to overall school spending—and the size of the hole they might leave in school budgets.
4 min read
Photo illustration of school building and piggy bank.
F. Sheehan for Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus
Education Funding When There's More Money for Schools, Is There an 'Objective' Way to Hand It Out?
A fight over the school funding formula in Mississippi is kicking up old debates over how to best target aid.
7 min read
Illustration of many roads and road signs going in different directions with falling money all around.
iStock/Getty