Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Help Nebraska Pass Charter School Legislation

From Aaron Hollinger, a teacher at KIPP NYC who started his career in Nebraska focused on Special Education:

As of 2013, Nebraska is one of only a handful of states that has not passed some form of charter school legislation. Earlier this month, State Senator Lautenbaugh introduced LB593 (Charter Schools Act) which would allow a limited number of charter schools to be allowed in some of the lower socio-economic sections of Omaha. Omaha is a large metropolitan area and although the city’s school district as a whole has a fairly high graduation rate and performance data, there is a clear discrepancy between the graduation rates of African-American and Latino youth compared to White students in the North and South Omaha communities. Such legislation has been introduced in prior years, but created little traction. Awareness of this bill needs national attention and involvement from folks around the country that are focused on school reform and charter school measures. Nebraska has fairly limited legislative session running around 3 months. This particular bill come up for public discussion/testimonials on February 25th and if this doesn’t have traction, such legislation will have to wait another year. Many are passionate that with some national exposure the bill will have success. If interested in reaching out to help this cause, I urge you to reach out to local legislators, especially those on the standing education committee, whose email information can be found at http://nebraskalegislature.gov. Also, if interested joining efforts to educate local leaders and politicians through this process, feel free to reach out to Aaron Hollinger at aaronhollinger1@gmail.com.

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