House committee kills Hogan’s bill on Maryland charter school authority

A House committee voted against Gov. Larry Hogan's proposed charter school authority.

A House of Delegates committee has killed a flagship item on Gov. Larry Hogan's legislative agenda, turning down a measure setting up a statewide authority to oversee charter schools.

The Ways and Means Committee voted, 15-8, to not send the measure to the House floor. The vote split along party lines, with Democrats opposed and Hogan's fellow Republicans supporting it.

The measure would have allowed the new authority to bypass local school boards in creating charter schools. It would have given the authority broad discretion to exempt schools it licensed from state and local regulations.

Under the bill, workers at the charter schools would not have been employees of the local school boards.

The measure would have provided $577,000 for the authority to get started in its first year.

The measure was expected to have a hard time winning approval in the Democrat-dominated General Assembly, where teachers unions are a powerful force against the expansion of charter schools.

The House panel acted before the bill could receive a hearing in the Senate. That hearing was scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

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