***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

As a public school teacher, when I first saw the charter school bill, I had a lot of questions. My priority has been to ensure that public funds go to public schools for the public good. As I dove into the bill, I was happy to see that many of my concerns were addressed. Here are a few of the questions I asked:

1) Admission Discrimination? No. On pg. 15, Iines 32-35, they have taken preventative measures to ensure there is no discrimination in their admissions process.
2) Is it Public? Yes. Page 1, line 3, and page 15 lines 2-3, ensure that these are in fact public.
3) Do they have qualified teachers? Yes. On page 15, lines 28-31, it states teachers must have a valid licensing and endorsement.
4) Why was it founded? On page 4, lines 15-16, it says it is provided when there is evidence of need and community support.
5) How will this affect students with disabilities? On page 4, lines 31-35, I found that there are plans instated for students with disabilities, those with limited English, students who are not passing academically, etc.
6) How will it be funded? Page 17, lines 5-18, states that the funding of charter schools is the same as that of open enrollment.
7) Oversight? In section 10, I found a detailed explanation as to how these schools will be required to submit annual reports, performance reports, corrective action plans, etc.

The more I looked into this legislation, the more I felt I could support it. As a teacher, I want to make sure that our public education system meets students where they are, and charter schools can help support the school districts in areas where they are wanted and where they have a demonstrated need. I agree that our public schools are among the best in the country, so this will help us build on our public school system and meet communities’ needs. I want to explore every option to keep students from falling through the cracks

Author: Garrett Gobble