Members of the public were given a chance to comment Wednesday on a House bill that would allow the creation of charter schools in Alabama. Charter schools are publicly financed schools that don't follow the same rules as most public schools. At a public hearing before the House Ways and Means-Education Committee, the sponsor, Rep. Phil Williams, R-Huntsville, said his bill would offer more flexibility to school districts trying to improve failing schools. Alabama Education Association Executive Secretary Henry Mabry argued the charter schools would take money from other schools and there is no assurance they would work. Proponents argued the schools would offer new opportunities for struggling students and would give administrators new options, like opening schools during different hours. Committee members did not vote on the bill Thursday.
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