Sen. Branden Durst’s amendment to HB 221 has failed, with just nine senators backing it; it would have eliminated clauses letting public or private colleges and nonprofit corporations form new state-funded charter schools. Instead, the Senate has adopted Sen. John Goedde’s amendment to that section of the bill, which would eliminate the clause letting non-profit corporations start charter schools. That’s the major change the Senate has approved to the charter school bills today.
Durst also proposed an amendment to require new virtual charter schools to be approved by local school districts, but it, too, was voted down. Goedde told the Senate, “Understand that this is only virtual public charter schools. The challenge is what school board should be presented a petition for a virtual charter school that may have enrollment from all the districts in the state? That’s one of the reasons that virtual charters were directed to the charter commission, and I think they’re appropriately kept there, although the language would allow virtual charters also at universities.”
Reporter Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News has an analysis here of the impact of the approved change.