BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Parents of school-age children are paying closer attention to what happens with public education. Governor Larry Hogan wants to give parents more options but state educators are afraid of going too far.

Pat Warren explains what charter schools can and cannot do.

“We treat ourselves and all others with respect and dignity,” said .

The Empowerment Academy in Baltimore is one of 47 public charter schools in the state. These kids are here because their parents want a learning experience tailored to their needs.

Governor Larry Hogan’s reading of “The Little Engine That Could” was an introduction to his plan to expand charter schools in the state.

The Maryland State Education Association wants charter schools held to strict guidelines controlled by local school boards, available to all students, meet public school standards, allow collective bargaining and offer something other than what’s available in public schools. MSEA opposes Hogan’s proposals to relax any of those rules.

“We don’t want to weaken or water down this law,” said Cheryl Bost, MSEA vice president. “Other states have seen charter schools flood in and there’s been corruption or waste of money and lower standards for the students.”

But the administration says its legislation would create more choices and opportunities for parents, like Corey Winfield—who’s in awe of his six-year-old’s progress here.

“Wow, from a six-year-old! Vocabulary’s really getting up there. Pretty soon I’m going to have to get someone to help me help you do your homework,” Winfield said.

A hearing on the bill is scheduled for next week.

The State Education Association supports charter schools as they currently operate.


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