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NKU elects to not serve as authorizer of charter schools

December 13, 2022

NKU Board of Regents made the decision for the university to not serve as an authorizer for charter schools at its packed Dec. 13 special-called meeting. 

A resolution was presented to the board that presented NKU as an authorizer for the public charter school pilot project in Campbell and 10 other surrounding counties, which Board of Regents Chair Rich Boehne read to the board members and meeting attendees. No regent besides Boehne provided any comment during the board discussion section of the meeting. 

When Boehne asked if there was a motion to adopt the resolution, the room went silent. 

After repeating the call for a motion three times, Chair Boehne announced that no action would be taken on account of the university becoming a charter school authorizer. This concluded the business of the meeting, and the board went into executive session concerning the “possible appointment of an employee,” according to the meeting’s agenda.

Boehne spoke with the media after the decision, listing some of his own issues with the proposed resolution. 

The timeline of the authorization was the first problem, as Boehne said NKU would have been required to authorize a charter school that would be up and running by August 2023. “It’s an almost impossible timeline, or we thought it was,” the chair said.

Funding was another hitch, Boehne said, since there was no startup funding allocated.

The board heard three public speakers at the meeting before the decision was reached, all of whom were proponents of NKU’s involvement with the pilot project. One speaker, Chairman of Fischer Homes Greg Fischer, proposed $2 million in initial funding and said there were hopes to raise upwards of $20 million.

Even still, the board made the ultimate decision to let the January 1, 2023 deadline on becoming an authorizer pass without any action taken. Boehne said while there may be some regents who sit in favor of being an authorizer, no one was on board with the proposed legislation and its wording. He reminded that NKU was not included in initial negotiations of the bill and was not originally aware of its position as a proposed authorizer.

“We did not want to be set up for a failure,” Boehne remarked. “We just didn’t think it was workable for us.”

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