States Don't Make Grade With Charter School Laws, Report Shows
Charter Success Begins in the State House, CER Says
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Of the 40 states (and the District of Columbia) that allow for charter schools, only 13 have strong laws that do not require significant revisions, according to a report released today by The Center for Education Reform.
The report, Charter Laws Across the States, answers key questions, including: who can approve and authorize charters in states, how these innovative schools are funded, and whether or not charter school administration and staff are free from the bureaucratic entanglements so prevalent in many traditional public schools. The report's analysis provides a roadmap for states to identify and model themselves after state laws that work and that allow for high-quality charter schools. The report highlights the key elements in education law that separate reform-minded states from the rest of the pack.
"Too many states have allowed their charter school laws to be watered down under pressure from special interests who feel their monopoly on the education of our children is threatened," said Jeanne Allen, president of The Center for Education Reform (CER).
According to CER, effective charter school legislation provides the opportunity for multiple entities -- such as universities, non-profits and even mayors -- to create and oversee the operation of charters. Effective charter legislation mandates that charter schools receive funding from the very same streams as their conventional public school counterparts.
Only three laws received an "A" grade in this year's analysis: The District of Columbia, Minnesota and California. The majority of state laws earned "Cs" and "Ds," with three states, Virginia, Iowa, and Kansas, failing entirely.
"After 18 years of charter school success, we know what works. If state leaders allow obstacles to autonomy and growth to remain in their laws, then they are turning their backs on incredible opportunities to provide all children with access to the highest-quality education," Allen said.
For more information and to see the results of CER's 2009 charter school law analysis, please visit http://www.charterschoolresearch.com.
The Center for Education Reform drives the creation of better educational opportunities for all children. CER changes laws, minds and cultures to allow good schools to flourish.
SOURCE Center for Education Reform