Charter Schools Like GMC Celebrate as SC Passes Charter School Bill
Excerpt from Greenville News:
Gov. Nikki Haley came to Greenville Tech Charter High on Monday to sign into law a bill broadening the options of charter schools and their students and formalizing the passage of one of state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais’ signature issues.
“It is a great day in South Carolina,” Haley said, repeating her cheery mantra with Zais at her side. “And the reason it’s a great day is South Carolina will no longer be the victim of regulations and will no longer be the victim of closed-mindedness when it comes to education.”
The new law will make it possible for students at charter schools to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities at the school they’re zoned for if it’s not offered at the charter school. It will open the way for single-gender charter schools and implement fines for school districts that don’t release funds to charter schools on time. And it will authorize colleges and universities to start charter schools without going through a local school district or the state charter school district, and allow members of the boards that govern charter schools to serve longer than one year.
Roger Meek, chairman of the Greenville County School Board, said district officials don’t know how many charter students may opt to participate in athletics at a regular district school. But he’s wary about the impact on schools that have to pay coaches to coach students they don’t get the funding for.“We’re still concerned about the cost of it and where the money’s coming from, because the charter schools get the money,” Meek said.He’s also concerned that charter school students could bump students who attend the regular school from a sports team.“I don’t want to displace any of the kids that are in the sports in the high school they are attending,” he said.“We all want – and me included – for all kids to have as many opportunities as possible, and that includes playing sports,” Meek said. “I’m sure we’ll just have to work it out as the situation arises.”Another school board member who attended Monday’s signing ceremony, Lynda Leventis-Wells, said she thinks the new law will benefit everyone.
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