44ºF

Roanoke organization fighting to keep charter schools out of Virginia

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - A new budget amendment this year going before the general assembly would make it easier for charter schools to set up shop in Virginia, but one organization in Roanoke is fighting it.

Laura Bowman with Parents Across America says the funding for charter schools would pull money away from the existing public school system.

She says this could hurt already struggling school systems.

"I'd say kind of a myth that choice is going to be the answer. There's no magic bullet to save education. It's not high stakes testing, it's not charter schools, it's not asinine accountability systems for teachers, it is proven reforms. Small class sizes, individual attention, full and fair funding, certified teachers, parental engagement," said Bowman.

Senator Mark Obenshain is proposing the amendment.

He says giving the state the power to authorize charter schools in communities would be a good way to support struggling school systems.

"We do have school divisions around Virginia that are really failing our kids, and we have got to make sure that we are providing a world class education to kids without regard to their zip code. If they are trapped in a failing school division owe them, I believe, a moral duty to improve the quality of education and the opportunities that are being provided to these kids and their families," said Obenshain.

If the amendment passes in the general assembly, it will need to be voted on by the public.

That means you would see it appear on the ballot in November.