The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) today announced the release of our annual rankings of state charter school laws across the country. The report, and the NAPCS model charter school law it is based upon, is designed to support the creation of high-quality public charter schools, particularly for those students most in need of better public school options. States with stronger laws have strong foundations for better schools, and so these rankings have major implications for everyone involved in the charter movement.
The biggest takeaway from this year’s rankings report is that the public charter school movement continues to build on 20 years of success. States with weak or no charter laws are basing new legislation on the experiences of states with stronger laws. And some states fell in the rankings simply because other states enacted stronger laws.
We’re delighted to see states build upon the legislative gains they’ve made over the past several years, particularly in strengthening quality and accountability, but our work is far from finished. In fact, at this year’s National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, DC, we will be leading advocacy trainings to better arm you with the tools to campaign for better charter school policies. Make sure you take part in this training by attending the conference.
16 States Make Improvements
From the ballot initiative in Georgia to the lifting of caps across the country, 16 states made great improvements to their laws. Here are the three states that had the biggest gains:
In Need of Improvement
Some states have spent several of years at the bottom of our rankings, including Mississippi, Virginia and Maryland. However a charter bill has been considered in each chamber of the Mississippi legislature, and we hope that it leads to a great law being passed.
8 States Still Have No Law
Eight states have failed to enact a charter school law: Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia. We’re working hard on the ground in several of these states to get laws passed.
The Best Laws
We’re especially happy to welcome Washington to the fold. We worked closely with advocates in the state to align the new law with our model legislation, and are glad to see voters welcoming more education options.
You can read the entire report and find the press release on our website. We hope this report can be used by charter school supporters to help them push for laws that support the creation of high-quality public charter schools, particularly for those students most in need of a better public school option. Please learn more about how you can help us in our efforts by registering for the conference and visiting the NAPCS website.