Charter school bill headed to Senate

A bill aimed at limiting charter school growth cleared the Louisiana House Wednesday on a narrow vote.

The House voted 55-39 in favor of House Bill 703. The legislation - which needed 53 votes - now moves to the state Senate.

“This is not an anti-charter school bill, but at the end of the day, someone has to decide whether a charter school’s going to open or not,” said the bill’s author, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite.

The legislation would prohibit the state’s top school board from overruling school boards and authorizing charter schools in districts rated A, B or C. The idea is to give that autonomy to school districts, rewarding those that are operating well under Louisiana’s letter-grade system.

Edwards said the bill would incentivize districts to improve their academic performance.

The legislation drew no debate on the House floor even though the Jindal administration opposed it in committee.

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