One of the objections to charter school legislation I'm hearing more and more is that the regular school districts ought to be given the same freedoms that charter schools would have.
The fact is that every charter school bill that has been considered this session does exactly that! Every one of those bills has allowed local school districts to apply to open a new charter school or to convert an existing public school to charter status. In either case, whether they open a new school or convert an existing one, they would be freed from the same regulations as any other charter school. This would give the local superintendents the opportunity to show what they could accomplish if they were freed from the state regulations.
Now, when I say "open a new school," I don't mean they would have to build a new school. In fact, there are no state funds for charter school construction. As with any charter school, they could use existing, under-used or closed facilities, or they could use church buildings, or any other suitable place.
For a description of the latest charter school bill, go to mspolicy.org.