PRESS RELEASE: March 22, 2017
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Releases 8th Annual Model Charter School Law Rankings
The top 10 states on the 2017 ranking are Florida, Indiana, Alabama, Minnesota, Washington, Colorado, New York, Maine, Louisiana and Mississippi
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released its annual state-by-state ranking of charter public school laws, entitled Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter Public School Laws, Eighth Edition. Florida ranks 8th on this year’s list. Florida’s law does not have a cap on charter public school growth, provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability, and provides a robust appellate process for charter school applicants.
“For 20 years, public charter schools have been providing quality education options to families in Florida. Throughout that time, the charter school movement has continually worked with lawmakers to fortify accountability measures in state statute, while protecting the autonomy of charter schools to do what’s in the best interest of the children they serve, and a parent’s right to choice” said Lynn Norman-Teck, executive director, Florida Charter School Alliance.
The 2017 rankings reflect new provisions from the model charter school law regarding flexibility, accountability, and equity. The 2017 rankings also reflect the continued steps many states took in 2016 to strengthen their laws and foster a landscape of high-quality charter public schools that have a positive impact on students.
“A state’s charter school law has a major impact on the quality of its charter school movement. A strong law that promotes flexibility, accountability, and equity leads to schools that can have a tangible, positive impact on the lives of students,” said National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees. “We are pleased to see states using our model law as a benchmark of success when crafting their own laws – as well as learning from the top states on our rankings about what best practices to implement.”
Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws, Eighth Edition ranks the charter school laws in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Each law receives a score based on 21 essential metrics, which include flexibility, accountability, and equity. These 21 components are drawn from the National Alliance’s New Model Law for Supporting the Growth of High-Quality Public Charter Schools: Second Edition.
Key findings from the report include:
- Florida ranks 8th in this year’s report. Florida’s charter school law provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability, it does not cap charter school growth, and provides a Comprehensive Charter Public School Monitoring and Data Collection Processes. Potential areas for improvement include creating authorizer accountability requirements, ensuring equitable operational funding
and equitable access to capital funding and facilities.
- Indiana has the nation’s strongest charter school law in the country for the second year in a row. Indiana’s law does not cap charter school growth, includes multiple authorizers, and provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability.
- Washington became the newest addition to the rankings in 2017, having passed legislation that re-established its charter school law after the Washington Supreme Court declared its previous law invalid, becoming the 44th jurisdiction (43 states and D.C.) with a charter school law.
- Mississippi made major improvements to its law by now allowing students in school districts rated C, D, or F to cross district lines to attend a charter school and permitting charter school employees to participate in the state retirement system and other benefits programs.
- Maryland continues to hold the lowest spot, ranking 44th with the weakest charter school law in the country. While Maryland’s law does not cap charter school growth, it allows only local school district authorizers and provides little autonomy, insufficient accountability and inequitable funding to charters.
Click here to read the full report: Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter Public School Laws.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.
About the Florida Charter School Alliance
Formed in 2010 by a group of educators, community leaders, and philanthropists, the Florida Charter School Alliance is a statewide, non-profit member-driven organization whose mission is to improve student achievement, promote parental choice, and to collaborate with and advocate for high-quality public charter schools. For more information, visit www.flcharteralliance.org