By Erin Beck, Beckley Register-Herald
Don’t expect charter schools in the near future in West Virginia.
In an interview this past week, an advocate at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools said that West Virginia’s law is too restrictive to encourage charter school development in the state.
“I think it’s pretty unlikely that y’all will have one anytime soon if you look at other states with this authorizing structure,” said Emily Schultz, director of state advocacy and policy for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. She added that there aren’t many states with similar “authorizing structures,” meaning ways charter schools can be approved.
In other states, various institutions could authorize a charter school, such as an independent board, the state school board, local school boards, or colleges and universities. Under West Virginia’s law, only local school districts can authorize charter schools.
Meanwhile, state Superintendent Steven Paine said last week that the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is so displeased with West Virginia’s law, they wouldn’t provide assistance in designing the state’s new charter school policy.
He said they’re “a little bit perturbed.”