In the States

The National Alliance is working to pass charter school laws in states that do not have them, as well as working closely with partners in several states to improve the policy environment for their charter schools. The National Alliance is placing particular emphasis on supporting our Community of Practice (COP) states. The COP is a group of eight state charter coalitions committed to improving state charter school laws in the areas of funding, autonomy, and accountability. 

Colorado Web

Charter schools in Colorado have traditionally been denied access to most local funding. The COP coalition in Colorado is working to address this funding inequity by asking the legislature to require school districts to share local funding with charter schools. In addition, the coalition is working to gain access to more facility options and facility funding for charter schools, gain more autonomy for charter schools, and strengthen accountability for chronically low-performing charter schools. 

Georgia Web

Appointed by the Governor, the Education Reform Commission recently produced recommendations on several education policy areas, including the public school funding formula. The Commission recommended moving to a student-based formula that would provide all public schools, including charter schools, with more funding for underserved and disadvantaged students. The Georgia COP coalition is supportive of these recommendations and will work with the Education Reform Commission over the next year to implement their recommendations through state policy and regulation.

 

Idaho Web

The Idaho COP coalition is working to get legislation enacted that would, among other things, support the replication and expansion of high-performing charter schools, provide money to a loan guarantee fund, and increase staffing flexibility. The coalition is also working with several partners to support a new public school funding formula that will increase funding to all public schools.

mass web

Governor Charlie Baker has filed legislation that will allow for the expansion of charter schools statewide. There appears to be support for it in the House (which passed a bill to lift the cap in 2014), but it is currently stalled in the Senate (which failed to pass the cap lift bill in 2014). If the legislature fails to act again, charter school supporters have gathered enough signatures to plan a ballot initiative in front of the voters in November.

MichiganWeb

The Michigan COP coalition is navigating several bills that have been introduced to deal with public schooling in Detroit. These bills include the coalition’s major priority of creating an A-F accountability system for all public schools in the state (and strengthening school and authorizer accountability as part of that bill).

OhioWeb

Ohio’s COP coalition is working to implement House Bill 2, recently passed legislation that makes a number of improvements to the state’s charter law, particularly as it relates to accountability. In addition to supporting implementation of HB 2, the coalition is working on a longer-term plan to increase facilities funding.

Oklahoma Web

Oklahoma’s COP is working to secure facilities funding for charter schools.

sc web

The COP in South Carolina is focusing its 2016 legislative efforts on facilities funding for charter schools and incorporating into statute a clear replication process for high-quality schools, as well as eliminating cumbersome and duplicative data reporting for charter schools.

The National Alliance also provides significant as-needed support to states facing specific issues involving charter schools.

Washington Web

Last September, Washington’s State Supreme Court declared Washington’s charter school law unconstitutional. The Washington Legislature debated legislation that would amend the law to address the Court’s decision and allow for charter schools to operate. The Washington State Charter Schools Association and its partners worked tirelessly to ensure passage of legislation that keeps charter schools open and provides a pathway to more charter schools in the future. Thanks to the work of the Association, the Legislature approved this legislation in the 11th hour and charter schools are on track to continue operating in Washington.