Education Funding

Will Race to Top Push Holdout States to Pass Charter Laws?

April 14, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Kentucky was the ONLY state to reach the Race to the Top’s “Sweet Sixteen” finalist pool that does not allow charter schools to operate.

Despite the federal competition’s emphasis on providing “charter-friendly” policy and regulatory environments, Kentucky’s political and education leaders, including state schools chief Terry Holliday, decided that a charter law wasn’t absolutely necessary to put forth a strong bid for a piece of the $4 billion prize.

Of course, Kentucky fell short in its round one application, though it still finished ahead (9th out of 16 finalists) of several states that do have charter school laws. Still, the state didn’t garner a single point—32 were possible—in the charter school category.

Now, with a June 1 deadline looming for applications to be filed for the second round of Race to the Top, Holliday is personally lobbying for a charter school measure in the Kentucky legislature. The Kentucky legislature resumes today for its final two days of session, so there are precious few hours left to get the bill passed.

If lawmakers there decide to support it, and there is still considerable doubt that they will, Kentucky could become the first of the hold-out states to pass a charter law because of the allure (or pressure) of winning Race to the Top dollars.

As we noted in this space two months ago, none of the 11 states that prohibit charters has so far been persuaded by RTTT money to change their laws.

Mississippi lawmakers approved a charter school measure late last month that would allow a limited number of low-performing schools in the state to be converted to charters, but Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, has not yet signed or vetoed it. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools blasted the Mississippi legislation for being so restrictive and called it a “new low” in charter school law.

For a good analysis of how important a state’s charter school scores were in Race to the Top judging, look at Nelson Smith’s post over at the Alliance’s blog.

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


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.
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Centering the Whole Child in School Improvement Planning and Redesign
Learn how leading with equity and empathy yield improved sense of belonging, attendance, and promotion rate to 10th grade.

Content provided by Panorama
Teaching Profession Webinar Examining the Evidence: Supports to Promote Teacher Well-Being
Rates of work dissatisfaction are on the rise among teachers. Grappling with an increased workload due to the pandemic and additional stressors have exacerbated feelings of burnout and demoralization. Given these challenges, what can the

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 Citing Supply Chain Issues, Inflation, USDA Boosts Funding for School Meals
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will boost reimbursements for school lunches as districts face COVID-related challenges.
2 min read
Second grader Amado Soto eats his lunch socially distanced from his fellow students in the cafeteria at Perez Elementary School during the coronavirus pandemic on Dec. 3, 2020, in Brownsville, Texas.
Second grader Amado Soto eats lunch socially distanced from his fellow students at Perez Elementary School in December.
Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP
Education Funding More Federal Aid Is Coming for Schools Struggling to Buy Food Due to Supply-Chain Crisis
The $1.5 billion USDA infusion is the second in several months to help schools purchase food amid shortages and price increases.
2 min read
Stacked Red Cafeteria trays in a nearly empty lunch room.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding School Districts Are Starting to Spend COVID Relief Funds. The Hard Part Is Deciding How
A new database shows districts' spending priorities for more than $122 billion in federal aid are all over the place.
8 min read
Educators delivering money.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding The Political Spotlight on Schools' COVID Relief Money Isn't Going Away
Politicians and researchers are among those scrutinizing the use and oversight of billions in pandemic education aid.
7 min read
Business man with brief case looking under a giant size bill (money).
iStock/Getty Images Plus