The new Innovative Schools bill (H/T to Ben DeGrow) that passed this year allows district-operated public schools to obtain waivers from state law. Why is this so important? Waivers are the technical means by which charter schools operate.
Charter schools apply for waiver from state law through their school district or authorizer. A few district schools have received waiver through their district. Some of these were strongly contested by the teacher's union. Some districts won't allow charter schools to receive any waivers in addition to the 13 that are automatically waived by the State Board of Education, upon request. Yet when the teacher's union went to start a charter school in Colorado Springs, they applied for and received waivers from licensure, collective bargaining and tenure. Why would they seek these waivers?
For the very same reason, Bruce Randolph in Denver wanted waiver from state laws that would have delayed when they could start hiring teachers. The Denver charter schools were getting a jump on the good teachers because the collective bargaining agreement didn't restrict the charter schools like it did the neighborhood schools.
Waiver from state laws permits schools to legally do things that make sense for educating their students. It's an action that says the right of a student to get a quality education (that will, in essence, change their life forever) is more important than the right of a teacher to be guaranteed a job for life (regardless of his/her performance). It's the right thing to do!