Education in Nebraska topic of July Press Club Noon Forum

Jul 26, 2017

The Omaha Press Club’s most recent Noon Forum centered on Education in Nebraska, specifically the debate between school choice and charter schools.

Ann Hunter-Pirtle, founder of Stand for Schools, believes in promoting public schools in our state. 

She spoke about her passion for preserving and strengthening Nebraska’s public schools so that future generations of Nebraskans may enjoy the same opportunities she received. 

Katie Linehan, Executive Director of Education Nebraska also spoke at the forum. 

Linehan supports more access to private and charter schools for Nebraska families.  She said she believes every child in every zip code deserves a high quality education.

"They can’t charge tuition.  They’re free.  Every child who wants to go to a charter school has an equal opportunity which is only limited by the space in that school.   Charter schools have a little more autonomy than traditional district schools but they also have more accountability.  So what does that mean?  Charter schools are typically are not governed at all by teacher union contracts.  So what does this mean?  It means a charter school can recruit, reward and retain teachers based on effectiveness.”

Linehan said it also means charter schools can offer kids longer school days and longer school years if that best fits the needs of the kids and their families.

The Omaha Press Club’s Noon Forum airs in its entirety on Monday, September 18th on KIOS.