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Poll: 72 Percent of Likely Kentucky Voters Support Charter Schools Bill

Seventy-two percent of likely Kentucky voters favor legislation to allow persistently low-performing schools the ability to become charter schools, according to a poll released Thursday by charter advocates.The survey found that 28 percent of likely Kentucky voters opposed the legislation, a news release said.The Kentucky state Senate has approved a bill thatadds converting to a charter schoolas an option for persistently low-performing public schools. Charters are public schools which are generally run independently of local school boards and given freer reign from regulations. Kentucky is among a handful of states that do not have charters.“I applaud Sen. Mike Wilson for fighting on behalf of students locked in failing schools across this commonwealth," said Hal Heiner, president of the pro-charter schools group Kentuckians Advocating for Reform in Education, in a statement. "For too long we’ve allowed zip codes to serve as road blocks for a better future for our children, and Sen. Wilson’s bill will give thousands of Kentucky parents the option their children so desperately deserve.”  The House Education Committee has yet to take up the legislation; the General Assembly's 2013 session ends this month.RunSwitch PR commissioned the survey.It was conducted by Harper Polling, which is staffed by a former polling director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.The survey asked 833 likely Kentucky voters: : “A bill in the State Senate would allow local school boards to convert Kentucky's 41 persistently low achieving schools in to charter schools. Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that can be more innovative and are held accountable for improved student achievement. Do you support or oppose this idea?"It had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.