COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Monday, a Senate Education subcommittee approved an amended version of the ‘Charter School Accountability Act’.
S.126 would make changes to the state’s charter school laws. They have remained mostly unchanged since they were enacted in 1996.
A 2021 Legislative Audit Council report said accountability measures were ‘inconsistent between charter schools, inconsistent with industry standards and not properly documented.’ They expressed concerns about underperforming charter schools remaining unchecked by moving to different sponsors or authorizers.
The bill would revise the voluntary termination of authorizer contracts by charter schools and provides procedures and requirements for charter schools to transfer to other authorizers.
Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina Executive Director Kevin Mason said they support the bill. Mason said they want to make sure charter schools maintain autonomy with these proposed changes.
“Schools should not be transferring to evade anything. They should be transferred because they feel another authorizer fits the needs of their school,” he said.
Currently, there are more than 80 public charter school districts in the state and three statewide authorizers.
S.126 has been sent to the full Senate Education Committee.