Kentucky is about to become the 44th state to allow charter schools.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the state Senate voted 23 to 15 and the state House a 53 to 43 on a bill and sent it to Gov. Matt Bevin. Bevin spoke on behalf of the bill before legislators voted on it.

Proponents of the legislation say that charter schools will help close the achievement gap for many children in Kentucky and offer parents greater school choice.

Bevin told the Senate Education Committee that charter schools are not a silver bullet, but they also don’t mean the end of public education.

Opponents of the bill say more time was needed to work out problems with the legislation. They also said that allowing charters would give for-profit companies access to $5 billion in public K-12 school funding.

The legislation would give local school boards and the mayors of Louisville and Lexington the authority to approve and oversee an unlimited number of charter schools beginning in 2017-18. The bill also would give enrollment preferences to children with special needs, at-risk students and students from low-performing schools.

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