LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada Department of Education would be forced to convert the lowest-performing schools into charter schools under legislation introduced Thursday in Carson City.

Schools that stay in the bottom 5% of all the schools in the state for three consecutive years would become “Department charter schools” under the terms of Senate Bill 206 (SB206). The bill is sponsored by Senator Carrie Buck (R-Henderson).

The schools would be evaluated on pupil achievement and school performance.

A charter school is a public school operated independently of public school systems, either by nonprofit or for-profit organizations.

Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo has proposed more funding for private schools in his budget, but a fight over that funding is expected when lawmakers begin working on the budget. Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager, a Las Vegas Democrat, has said flatly that public money is for public schools. Charter schools might become the middle ground in that fight.

SB206 also requires the principal of each public school “to prepare an instructional model for the school which may be shared with other public schools,” according to a description on the Nevada Legislature website.

Buck is an advocate for charter schools. She is the president and executive director of the Pinecrest Foundation. Her background is in education, with a work history that runs from classroom teacher to school principal to adjunct professor at Touro University.