Bill calls for moratorium on new charter schools until 2021

Signature Preparatory Charter School
A promotional image from Signature Preparatory Charter School.
Signature Preparatory Charter School
A promotional image from Signature Preparatory Charter School.

The rapid growth of the charter school industry could come to a screeching halt in Nevada, thanks to a bill introduced Monday.

The proposed bill, AB462, would prohibit the approval or opening of new charter schools until Jan. 1, 2021.

The bill is sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Education.

State law currently allows public school districts, state colleges and universities, and the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority to approve new charter schools, though only the authority is regularly doing so. An estimated 46,000 students were enrolled in Nevada charters during the 2017-2018 school year. The authority has stated it wants to grow that number to 60,000 by 2020.

If it were considered a district, the charter school authority would be the third largest in the state.

Charter schools are publicly funded schools run privately by nonprofit or for-profit corporations. Criticism of charter schools has grown nationwide. In California, where 10 percent of students are enrolled in charters, school boards of traditional districts and legislators are increasingly calling for the curbing of growth.

Twenty-one states have established caps on charter school growth, and another seven states do not authorize charter schools at all, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Concerned that charter school growth has been siphoning money from traditional public schools, the Clark County School District last year stepped up a marketing program to confront charter schools more directly.

Both the Nevada State Education Association and the Clark County Education Association have called for charter school growth to be halted until their standard of accountability is higher than the existing standards for public schools.

Earlier this year a national charter schools advocacy organization put “no caps” on charter school growth at the top of the list of things the group liked about Nevada’s laws.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah like, why are progressives even using the word “charter” for private (religious? weirdo? cultish agenda?) schools that want to suck bucks away from public schools. That makes them sound like the Queen herself issued them a holy/royal writ to perform educational duties on high, not what they really are or soon universally will be: you & me paying for parochial schools.

  2. Russ, please get your facts straight before going off with complete falsehoods. Charter schools are not religious schools. They are public schools that are funded with LESS money than schools within CCSD, etc. We don’t receive money to build our campuses. With less funding (and less bloated, ineffective bureaucracy) charter schools are often managed much better and perform better than schools found within CCSD. CCSD is a complete disaster. Parents should not be forced to have their children attend overcrowded classes with lazy and horrible unionized teachers (who happen to be spearheading all of the anti-charter school legislation – thanks CCEA UNION!). I was born and raised in this town and had so many horrible teachers that boasted that they couldn’t ever be fired, thanks to their wonderful union. I will not have my children experience what I did.

  3. Look , I am as liberal as they come. But charter schools are the only alternative to private schools . Las Vegas school districts had their chance Sorry but many of us want our kids in a school where they can learn not not be subjected to some of the clientele . No longer do parents have to worry about buying in the right neighborhoods for their kids to be in a nice school . I for one will be watching this vote .

  4. Russ,
    You might want to learn a thing or two about charter schools before you go off in some sort of random false tangent. Charter schools are not religious nor do they suck money from the parents that have children attending them. CCSD public schools are awful, administrators don’t care, teachers don’t care because let’s face it, they make awful money to deal with a bunch of extremely disrespectful children who learned these behaviors from their extremely disrespectful parents. Don’t be uneducated, you could stand to learn a thing or two.

  5. I will defend charter schools as much as possible! People should always have a right to choose. All 3 of my children attend a charter school and they’re doing
    very well. Additionally, we have a close relationship with each teacher. We attribute our children’s success to the fact that the campus is not overloaded and these teachers genuinely care for each of their students. I attended CCSD schools from K to 12th grade, and I firmly believe this charter school’s curriculum is far better than what I recall. Charter schools are an excellent alternative to overcrowded public schools and expensive private schools.

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